Attacked albino teen gets new prosthetic arm thanks to U.S. charity

A 17-year-old girl, who had her arm cut off because of her Albinism in Tanzania, is on her way back home after getting a new prosthetic arm in the United States.

Albinism is a condition that leaves the afflicted with little or no pigment in their skin or eyes. It makes body parts valuable on the black market in parts of Africa as ingredients in portions said to give the user wealth and good luck.

Kabula Nkarango Masanja said that her attackers asked her family for money and that her mother offered the family’s bicycle because they had none. The attackers refused, held the girl down in three hacks cut off her right arm to the armpit.

Before leaving with her arm in a plastic bag, her attackers told her mother other men would be back to take her daughter’s organs, but they didn’t return.

A U.S. charity is now helping five other Albino children escape the threat, at least temporarily, by bringing them stateside.

The Global Medical Relief Fund, started in 1997 by Elissa Montanti, helps children from crisis zones who have lost limbs to get custom prostheses.

Albinism affects about one out of every 15,000 people in Tanzania, according to the United Nations. The government there outlawed so-called witch doctors last year in the hope of curtailing the attacks, but the new law hasn’t stopped the butchering.

There has been a sharp increase in attacks in Tanzania and neighboring Malawi, according to the U.N.
Tanzania recorded at least eight attack sin the past year.