Councils directed to order sunscreen lotion

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PLANS are at an advanced stage as the government is drafting guidelines that will cater for the National Health exemption to the disabled, including people living with albinism.

Moreover, the government has included sunscreen lotion for people with albinism in the medicine package to be supplied by the Medical Stores Department (MSD) to public health facilities.

The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for the Disabled, Ms Stella Ikupa, said in Parliament here yesterday that the government is aware of the challenges facing people with albinism, and has therefore applied a number of interventions.

She said in 2016/17, the government has distributed sunscreen lotions and eye glasses as part of the measures to help people with albinism tackle their challenges. Answering Ms Mgeni Kadika (Special Seats-CUF) who wanted to know if sunscreen lotions are being taxed, making the retail prices unaffordable to majority of people with albinism.

Responding, Ms Ikupa directed all district and municipal council executives in the country to ensure they include sunscreen lotion in their drugs order when they order other medicines from MSD.

Moreover, she said the government has exempted tax on importation of technical aid and appliances, including sunscreen lotion. Ms Amina Mollel (Special Seats-CCM) asked the government to ensure people with albinism, especially in rural areas, are availed with sunscreen lotion which is scarce, putting them at a risk of getting skin cancer.

The Deputy Minister said that a directive has been issued to districts and municipalities to give special focus to rural areas when it comes to supply and distribution of sunscreen lotion and technical appliances to people with albinism.

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