Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe and Zimplats have combined forces to support people with albinism. The two organizations have been actively supporting people with albinism in their individual capacities and have embarked on a partnership to benefit Binga, Hwange and Lupane districts.
At events recently held in Binga and Hwange, Stanbic Bank and Zimplats handed over spectacles and sunscreen lotions to 27 beneficiaries who were in need of the goods. People with albinism have a reduced amount of melanin, and this can affect their eyesight, hence, the spectacles will definitely go a long way in improving the eyesight of the beneficiaries. The three districts of Binga, Lupane and Hwange have the highest population of people with albinism in Matabeleland North Province. People with albinism in this region regularly need access to sun protection materials due to the extreme heat in the region.
Speaking on the sidelines of the events, Palmer Mugavha who is the Head of Marketing and Communications for Stanbic Bank articulated that the Standard Bank subsidiary has been involved in the support of people with albinism for 4 years now.
“The bank has been working with the Albino Charity Organization of Zimbabwe (ALCOZ) to reach out to people in different parts of Zimbabwe by distributing sunscreen lotions, lip balms, sunhats, and antibacterial soaps, and our relationship with ALCOZ was established 4 years ago”, said Mugavha.
Zimplats launched a massive awareness campaign dubbed “Beyond the Skin” in October 2017. Through the campaign over 1000 people with albinism accessed sun protection materials. Challenges faced by people with albinism require a multi-stakeholder approach, therefore, through the campaign, Zimplats joined forces with Friends with Albinism in a bid to understand issues affecting people with albinism and developing effective programs to assist them.
Chiedza Mupfumira, Zimplats’ Corporate Communications Manager, expressed gratitude to all the government and private stakeholders who partnered the Friends with Albinism campaign, highlighting the great impact the campaign has had in different provinces particularly Mashonaland West and Matabeleland North provinces.
“We are greatly overwhelmed by the support we have been receiving from the Ministry of Health and partners such as Stanbic Bank amongst many others”, she said.
“We appreciate Stanbic bank’s support in purchasing the spectacles for the Hwange, Binga and Lupane beneficiaries and we hope this partnership goes a long way into the future.”
Zimplats in conjunction with Optinova Eyecare Zimbabwe and supported by the Minister of Health and Child Care along with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, conducted free eye tests for the beneficiaries.
Speaking at the event held at Binga District Hospital, the Binga District Administrator, Mrs. Lydia Ndethi-Banda, extended her gratitude to Stanbic Bank and Zimplats citing the great need in their district given the number of people with albinism in Binga and surrounding districts.
“We continue to look for solutions to support members of our communities with albinism and are greatly humbled by Stanbic and Zimplats’ support”, said Mrs. Ndethi-Banda.