Source: | Richard Fiebor, Ghana

Mr. Albinism Ghana, Kwame Andrews Daklo together with his Czech Republican Business Partner, Lukas Houdek, will officially introduce a sunscreen product, Mela-Protect, into the Ghanaian and the West African market come August, 2019.

The product will save the vulnerable, especially albinos, from skin cancer and its related deaths in West Africa.

Sunscreens are products combining several ingredients that help prevent the sun’s ultraviolet radiation from reaching the skin. Ultraviolet radiations damage the skin, age it prematurely and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Mr. Kwame Daklo has been explaining to that people with albinism in Ghana find it challenging to afford sunscreens because they are very expensive. Hence the initiation of the Mela-Protect Project as a social enterprise to generate revenue, which would be used to increase production of the product to make it accessible and affordable to its beneficiaries.

He said “sunscreens are available in the market, but they are very expensive. People with albinism cannot afford them, so the Mela-Protect Project is to produce sunscreens at lower prices which can be accessible and affordable even on the streets…to prevent them from getting skin cancer.”

Member of Engage Now Africa preparing Mela-Protect in Ghana

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) alumnus indicated that the idea for the project was generated at YALI during an inter-track pitching competition. His track, Civic Leadership, won the competition. He got in touch with Mr. Lukas Houdek whom he met on facebook a long time ago.

According to him, Mr. Houdek had been seeking his assistance to embark on a project on albinism in Ghana. He invited Mr. Houdek over to Ghana and he brought some sunscreens to be distributed to persons with albinism. Then he proposed the Mela-Protect Project to him (Mr. Houdek).

Mr. Houdek in a pose some members of Association of Albinos during the first preparation of Mela-Protect in Ghana

The Business Partner returned to the Czech Republic with some ingredients including shea butter, coconut oil etc which were to be analyzed in the laboratory. He returned to Ghana after launching a crowd funding in the Czech Republic where he raised $ 15 000. With that amount, Mr. Kwame Andrews Daklo, Engage Now Africa and the Association for Persons living with Albinism established a small factory in Ghana where Mela-Protect is produced.

 “After the first phase, we produced over a 100 bottles, and we are going through the testing process” Mr. Daklo indicated.

Product Launch

 On 13th June, 2019, the International Albinism Awareness Day, Mr. Lukas Houdek together with Kwame and the organization he works with, Engage Now Africa, launched the brand, Mela-Protect, at the British Council in Accra.

In attendance were representatives from the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Central University College and the Association for People with Albinism.

The representatives spoke on various issues concerning albinism including how education can be improved for people living with albinism to excel academically and how the NHIS can help in improving conditions that are associated with albinism.

Winner of the 2012 edition of TV 3’s Ghana’s Most Beautiful contest, Emefa Adeti, was appointed as the albinism ambassador and Kwame Andrews Daklo as Mr. Albinism Ghana.

Mr. Houdek and Emefa Adeti during the launch at the British Council, Accra

Kwame Andrews intimated that “We are advocates so we needed someone, a celebrity outside our domain to also speak for us.”

The Beauty Queen unveiled Mela-Protect, and Lukas Houdek gave a speech describing the process of manufacturing it.

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