Sun protection for people with albinism in Tanzania: interview with Rose Macharé

Rose Macharé, responsable des cliniques de consultation de proximité, au sein de l’hôpital Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center en Tanzanie

Rose Macharé

Pharmacist at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre Hospital in Tanzania


Sun protection is still the only medical measure that can be implemented effectively to prevent skin cancer for people with albinism in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Fondation Pierre Fabre in collaboration with the Pierre Fabre Dermo-cosmetic Laboratory and the Pierre Fabre Research Institute makes it available to the international community.


Rose Macharé is Tanzanian and after completing a degree in pharmacy at Rajiv Gandhi University in India, she went on to do a Masters in International Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK.

Today, at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre Hospital, our partner in Tanzania, she is setting up outreach clinics where a team of dermatologists and pharmacists screen patients for skin cancer and provide treatment.

Our programme in Tanzania includes the manufacture and distribution of sun protection ointment, based on a formula developed with the Pierre Fabre Group and made available to the international community.

Last month, she attended a training course at the Soual factory, in the Tarn region of France, to learn how to produce this ointment.

Hi Rose, can you tell us about your work at the Pierre Fabre Group’s Soual plant?

I am currently in France to undergo training focused on the production of a new sunscreen formulation. This training involves hands-on learning and practical experience at the Pierre Fabre dermo-cosmetics factory situated in Soual. During the training, I collaborate with the staff at the Pilot factory in production of several batches of the new SPF 50 sunscreen formula. By conducting these pilot batches, we aim to determine which machine is most suitable for the production of the new formulation.

By attending this internship training, I had the opportunity to work with different types of machines and equipment for sunscreen production. This exposure has helped me develop new technical skills related to operating machinery and ensuring efficient production I also learned about quality control measures and testing for sunscreen products. This knowledge equips me with the skills to conduct quality assurance checks, perform product testing, and ensure that the sunscreen meets the required standards. Lastly, engaging in Pierre Fabre derma cosmetic factory, I have gained insights into the cosmetic production industry as a whole. I have interacted with industry professionals, observed their operating procedures and quality test. This training has provided me with a comprehensive set of skills and experiences that are highly relevant to my professional carrier as a pharmacist.

Why do you feel concerned by the situation of people with albinism? What is their situation in Tanzania?

JI am personally concerned about the situation of people with albinism due to the unique challenges they face. One significant issue is their heightened risk of developing skin cancer due to the absence of melanin in their skin, which provides natural protection against harmful UV radiation. In Tanzania, many individuals with albinism experience lower economic status, making it difficult for them to afford sunscreen, which is essential for protecting their skin from sunburn and reducing the risk of skin cancer.

As part of my involvement with the KCMC Hospital under the Regional Dermatology Training Centre unit, we organize outreach clinics whereby a dedicated team of dermatologists and pharmacists visit various clinic stations to conduct skin screenings and provide treatment. It is disheartening to witness that many cases of skin cancer among people with albinism could have been prevented if sunscreen had been consistently applied since their early years.

This situation has deeply touched me, and I am committed to ensuring a consistent and accessible supply of free sunscreen for people with albinism in Tanzania. By reducing the incidence of skin cancer through proper sun protection, we can significantly improve the well-being and quality of life for individuals with albinism in our country..

People with albinism in Tanzania will have a constant and reliable supply of free sunscreen that provides effective sun protection.

And what does your work with the Fondation Pierre Fabre involve?

Within this collaboration with Pierre Fabre foundation, my responsibilities include several key areas such as to oversee the supply chain process for the raw materials required in the production of sunscreen, overseeing the entire manufacturing process. It includes coordinating with the production team, implementing quality control measures, and ensuring compliance with established standards. Also, develop essential Quality Control documents and implementation of standard operating procedures. Furthermore, I am responsible for the supervision of the project’s budget and prepare of the report.

It is a fulfilling experience to be part of an International Organization that positively impacts the lives of individuals in need. The Foundation has provided me with a significant growth opportunity in my career. The foundation serves as an amazing workplace, characterized by a supportive team environment. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to meet and engage with the team members in Lavour.

What impact will this course have on Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre and its patients?

The internship will have a significant impact at Dermatology department of the KCMC Hospital. Currently, we are manufacturing a sunscreen formula with SPF 50 that is expensive to produce due to the high number of ingredients it contains. Through this internship, we aim to transit to a new sunscreen formula with SPF 50 that will be more cost-effective and easier to manufacture. The new formula will have a reduced number of ingredients, simplifying the production process and potentially lowering the overall manufacturing costs. Therefore, as a result of this internship, people with albinism in Tanzania will have a constant and reliable supply of free sunscreen that provides effective sun protection.


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