• ‘Being different’: realities of life experiences as constructed by persons with albinism in Nigeria

      Mabhala, Andi; Keeling, June; Buck, Gill; Keen, Adam; Olagunju, Adeolu (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-08)
      In Nigeria, persons with albinism (PWA) continue to face a higher burden of health and social challenges in the society compared with the general population. PWA experience multi-faceted social injustices such as stigma, discrimination and exclusion from education, employment and social participation. These injustices are driven by the Nigerian society because of sociocultural perceptions and stereotypes associated with albinism which can be attributable to the lack of adequate understanding of the condition. This research aimed to understand how the realities of being a PWA in Nigeria could be conceptualised based on their life experiences to develop a substantive theory of their social wellbeing status. By adopting constructivist grounded theory methodology, forty-two in-depth interviews were conducted amongst eleven PWA. Analysis identified three categories each of which embodies the multiple realities of disadvantages and exclusion experienced within the home, schooling, working and social environments at different stages of life. The concept of ‘Being different’ emerged from these categories to offer a theoretical explanation of what it means to be a PWA in Nigeria. The realities of ‘being different’ constitute processual social injustices for PWA because of how the Nigerian society is socio-culturally and institutionally configured to magnify the limitations of albinism above the rights and social liberties of the individual. This research identified albinism as a disability and concluded that PWA are owed a moral and ethical obligation by the Nigerian society for them to be able to access the liberties and support necessary to secure their health and social wellbeing. The sustainable fulfilment of this moral and ethical obligation necessitates an inter-institutional collaboration and vigilance that should address the layers of injustices meted to PWA. This study adds an original contribution to knowledge by offering a theoretical concept to qualify the social status of PWA in Nigeria, and thus, could be useful to inform appropriate health and social care interventions.