Mr Albinism Kenya Jairus Ongetta (L) and Miss Albinism Kenya Loise Lihanda pose at the Mr and Miss Albinism East Africa pageant.
YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images
Because of their appearance, people with albinism in Tanzania are often socially excluded and frequently (and sometimes violently) discriminated against.
An albino child and his mother get a visual test as part of programmes to expand social awareness for albino people in Lagos, Nigeria.
Photo by Sodiq Adelakun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
It’s important to unravel how disability is understood as a step towards improving the well-being of disabled people.
In Tanzania, only half of the children with albinism complete primary school.
The needs of children with albinism aren’t met in the classroom and this often leads to them dropping out of school.
Professor Fabian V. Filipp lectures on the biology of malignant melanoma and pigmentation disease. The color of skin is due to the presence of a pigment called melanin, which can absorb cancer-causing sunlight.
Photo by Systems Biology and Cancer Metabolism Laboratory, Fabian V. Filipp. Used with permission. CC BY-SA.
An international team of researchers is probing the links between skin diseases, including cancer, to speed the search for cures.
Thereza Phinias, a musician who is part of the Tanzania Albinism Collective.
Singing, music, films and dances are crucial in promoting and protecting the human rights of Africans with albinism.
Witchcraft related beliefs pose serious human rights violations for people with Albinism.
An upcoming UN meeting on witchcraft and human rights in Geneva is set to focus on the rising attacks on Albinos and the trade of body parts in sub-Saharan African.
Albinism is an inherited condition that affects the pigment of the eyes, hair and skin.
Tanzania has one of the highest rates of albinism in the world. The media in the country has an important role to play in protecting them from harm.
People with albinism often isolate themselves to avoid discrimination.
People with albinism tend to identify with the black rather than the white community. Their physical differences, though, mean they don’t fit into either race group.
Children with albinism are often teased and bullied by their peers.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies/Flickr
Children with albinism are teased and physically bullied by classmates who don’t understand their condition. They withdraw from learning – and many ultimately leave school early.
Children with albinism often have poor eyesight, so classroom seating plans are important.
In Tanzania, where albinism is common, there’s plenty that ordinary teachers can do to support students with albinism – much of it quite simple.
Selina, right, and her friend Mwanaidi play together in a Tanzanian classroom. Children with albinism are very vulnerable to attack, mutilation and murder.
Children living with albinism are very vulnerable to attack, kidnapping, mutilation and murder. In Tanzania, fear is keeping many children away from school and costing them an education.
Albinos in Africa have a double challenge. Not only do they face social stigma but there is also no health policy that ensure they get services for their condition.
One in every 1000 people in Africa are born with albinism. Apart from facing social stigma, they also face health risks. Countries on the continent should have policies to aid this vulnerable group.
Why the gap?
Albinism is a genetic condition that can cause problems with eyesight such as photophobia (sensitivity to light), involuntary eye movements, and skin sensitivity to the sun. But it is also life-threatening…
Natural sunscreen in action.
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