International Albinism Awareness Day

Today, is the day chosen by the United Nations to celebrate persons with Albinism #MadetoShine and advocate for their rights #StandUp4HumanRights.

Albinism is a genetic condition, characterized by depigmentation (with little or no melanin)  of skin, hair, and eyes.

It is inherited from parents and children are born with this condition. Even though both parents may not have Albinism, they can carry the gene which needs both parents to be carriers for the condition to be transmitted to their kids. 

The incidence is global, it can occur in every 1 out of 20,000 people. While in Africa, 1 in 5,000 people can be affected by Albinism. 

There are some health challenges for persons with Albinism. These conditions can also cause significant disabilities.

The most common condition is skin cancer.

Melanin in the skin protects against the harmful effects of sunrays. In persons with Albinism, who do not have melanin to protect their skin, they are at high risk for skin cancer.

Children and adults should use sunscreen protection lotions and creams, wear clothes that cover sun-exposed areas, avoid prolonged times in the sun, and avoid outdoor work that exposes them to damaging sun rays.

It will be essential for persons with Albinism to see a Dermatologist at least once a year for skin check.

Persons with Albinism can have eye problems; these include abnormal eye movements (nystagmus), light sensitivity and discomfort (photophobia). Prevention of significant eye complications includes the use of Sunglasses and regular checks by the Eye doctor.

The work of the United Nations is important to ensure that persons with Albinism are treated fairly and equally without discrimination, bullying, or violence. We should be more understanding towards persons with Albinism and ensure they have equal rights.

References:

https://www.un.org/en/observances/albinism-day

https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/oculocutaneous-albinism#statistics

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