At Outer Shell Africa, we fully understand how difficult and debilitating it can be to live with a chronic skin condition and or visible difference.
Skin diseases and visible differences in Africa, have a serious impact on people’s quality of life, causing lost productivity at work and school, stigma and discrimination due to disfigurement. Skin changes may also indicate the presence of more diseases that need urgent attention.
To educate and empower Sub-Saharan Africans living with skin conditions and Visible differences to live the life they want mentally, socially and physically..
In Africa, prejudice and traditional beliefs compound the psycho-social challenges faced by individuals living with skin conditions and visible differences. It is of vital importance in Africa to influence positively the prejudice and traditional beliefs surrounding most skin conditions and appearance related concerns.
Supporting and improving the lives of children with skin conditions and visible differences is on top priority for us.
- To give Education and awareness to the wider community using TV (entertainment education), Digital storytelling and publications enterprisingly to encourage patients to seek help and to raise greater empathy in the wider community while improving socioeconomic lives, rousing the attention of the health community, promote beauty in Appearance diversity and Right to Health for Sub-Saharan Africans living with skin conditions and visible differences.
- To get involved in Psycho-social (Person-centric) and Epidemiological Research, both are fundamentally important for us to study psycho-social challenges from a subjective stance and rouse public health importance of these conditions which is underappreciated and underestimated.
- Patient empowerment through individual conditions active patient support groups with the aim of offering open information and self-help guide to increase knowledge of patients to help them make informed decisions about coping, adherence, management and living well with a skin condition and visible difference thereby improving health outcomes and health systems in our communities.
- To inspire and instigate behavioural change and positive attitude of the public towards our primary beneficiaries through urban and rural grassroots education through Walk for Skin health with two days free consultation and treatment and free public screening of our productions in markets, churches and town halls.
- Improve specially lives of children with chronic skin condition and appearance challenges.
Outer Shell Africa is driven by the recognition that Human Rights (Freedom from discrimination, Right to Health, Right to work, Right to life) are fundamental to general health, including skin conditions/diseases and Visible differences. Sadly Skin diseases and Appearance related concerns are often labelled ‘not life threatening’ and ‘just cosmetic’ (by most members of the public and sadly many in the health sector) yet these health conditions are not relegated in view of Health by World Health Organization (WHO) who defines health in its 1948 constitution as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Outer Shell Africa was born out of Ogo Maduewesi’s years of experience living with Vitiligo and working on the Vitiligo cause where huge social needs of people living with Skin conditions and visible differences unfolds by day, enquiries and plea for social support continued to come from beyond Nigeria, offline and online. She yearned to help, she tried about thrice to bring together others with different skin conditions to educate the public and offer support, but this didn’t happen. Ogo woke up someday and decided to take the bull by the horn as she has grown so passionate about the cause. Ogo Maduewesi, an Ashoka fellow/Making More Health fellow was diagnosed of Vitiligo in 2005, in her quest for encouragement and how to manage her Vitiligo, she accidentally founded Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation (VITSAF) in 2008, the first Vitiligo patient-driven organization in Africa. VITSAF collaborates today with other Vitiligo patient groups across Sub-Saharan Africa to bring Vitiligo awareness to the forefront.