Attitudes of Social Services Professionals towards People with Albinism in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Shekuwe, Halima Ali
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Social services professionals are agents of change in any society. For many years, people with albinism in Tanzania have faced many injustices and malicious acts like murder, kidnapping, rape, cutting and selling their body parts. In Tanzania due to their condition, they have been placed under the category of “people with disability”. It has befallen social services professionals to be their saviors and protectors into helping them voice their problems and other issues. This study aims at examining the attitudes of social services professionals, roles and precautionary measures taken towards protecting people with albinism in the Dar es Salaam region. In this study, 30 participants were contacted but only 24 responded and these were 6 social services professionals from the government, 6 from the non-governmental organizations, 10 people with albinism who acted as volunteers, 1 journalist and 1 social service professional from an embassy. This study was carried out between May to September 2019. A qualitative research design was adopted through a semi-structured interview guide. The analysis of these participants’ opinions was carried out with Nvivo 12 software. The results of the analysis reveal that social services professionals have more positive attitudes like acceptance, respect, defense, support and love than negative attitudes which included unhelpfulness, pessimism, and unfairness towards people with albinism. Promoting education, advocacy and awareness-raising were some of the roles and precautionary measures used towards protecting people with albinism. From the findings, recommendations to the government, non-governmental organizations, social workers and people with albinism were to bring changes to the education, and health sector. It was realized that self-awareness concept on people with albinism themselves and the challenges facings social services professionals should be examined as an area for further research; these will positively stress and broaden the compassion about people with albinism and how to support them.