APAM to meet traditional healers on albinism killings

Chairperson for Association of Persons with Albinism (APAM) in Mangochi London Jawadu, has said that there is a need for the association to work with traditional healers in addressing the rising killing of persons with albinism in the district.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency on Monday Jawadu alleged traditional headers are involved in killings of persons with albinism adding that it was, therefore, important to involve them in the fight.

"Traditional healers are the ones telling people that they will become rich by using body parts of persons with albinism so it is critical to partner with them to stop the killings,” said Jawadu

He said the fact that Mangochi and Machinga top the list of districts in the eastern region where the killing of persons with albinism is rampant; was enough proof that traditional healers continue to promote the killing of people with albinism.

"Some thieves cannot admit that they steal stuff even when caught red-handed so is the case with some traditional healers in Mangochi how can we continue hearing reports of killing of persons with albinism in the district yet the traditional healers who promote such acts deny involvement," said Jawadu.

Before the 23-year-old person with albinism, Said Dyton was killed in Mangochi in 2021, APAM with police officials, the chairperson for traditional healers in Mangochi James Champion, and other partners conducted an awareness campaign against the killing of persons with albinism at the deceased's village at Malombe area.

"After Dyton lost his life, we had to go back to Malombe for further awareness campaign against the killing of people with albinism,” added Jawadu.

Jawadu: APAM chapter in Mangochi involves traditional healers in dealing with the killings of persons with albinism. Pic, Mada Ziba (Mana)

Jawadu said despite the killing, APAM will continue fighting for an end to the killings of persons with albinism, adding, "We know that some people's minds have been polluted but we are sure that things will change over time and we will continue holding awareness meetings in schools and communities, explaining our roles in addressing the plight of people with albinism".

In an interview Champion who is a member of APAM in Mangochi said he meets once every month with fellow traditional healers to discuss acceptable ways of conducting their business, especially in relation to protecting the lives of persons with albinism.

He said he always advises them not to be associated with the killing of persons with albinism and report to relevant authorities when need be.