Professor Karin U Schallreuter from the Institute for Pigmentary Disorders in association with EM Arndt University Greifswald/Germany and University of Bradford/UK and the President of the American Vitiligo Research Foundation (AVRF) Stella Pavlides went to Kenya
Vitiligo is characterized by the loss of an individual's inherited skin color. Sufferers are marked by de-pigmented, disfiguring white spots. As one can imagine, this presents a striking and obvious skin condition in those with dark skin. Often, people with vitiligo are the targets of staring, questions, and bullying by others. In Kenya (and other areas of the world) affected individuals are often ostracized and are frequently characterized as cursed or bewitched. Because treatment in Kenya is difficult due to limited health funding, the AVRF donated a Narrow band UVB cabinet to the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi. This equipment will allow health professionals in Kenya to offer this treatment modality to all patients seeking help, regardless of their ability to pay.
In January, Professor Schallreuter went to Nairobi to explain this treatment modality in detail to her Kenyan colleagues. Both education and treatment are in demand in Kenya. To that end, Professor Schallreuter also gave an extensive lecture on the subject of Vitiligo to members of staff and to local dermatologists. The Kenyan trip also included a visit to the children’s cancer ward, where the donation of 40 teddy bears - a generous gift from AVRF and “Build-a-Bear" - created a big surprise and lots of fun to the little patients!
If you wish to support awareness and education, please contact www.avrf.org
Any help is appreciated.