People With Albinism in Africa Ask for More Care and Protection

Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited difference present at birth. In almost all types of albinism, both parents must carry the gene for it to be passed on, even if they do not have albinism themselves. The condition is found in both sexes regardless of ethnicity and in all countries of the world.

Albinism results in a lack of pigmentation (melanin) in the hair, skin and eyes, causing vulnerability to the sun and bright light. As a result, almost all people with albinism are visually impaired and are prone to developing skin cancer. There is no cure for the absence of melanin that is central to albinism. Activists for people with albinism says stigma keeps surrounding those with the condition, despite calls for social acceptance. In some communities people with albinism are hunted for ritual purposes.

In the wake of International Albinism Awareness Day on June 13, this year's theme, Strength Beyond All Odds, celebrates how people with albinism worldwide meet and exceed expectations in all domains of life.

InFocus

Some albino children in a protest rally (file photo).

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