Albinism is a genetic disorder that causes the skin, hair or eyes to have little or no color, and it is also associated with visual problems. Albinism is caused by a defect in one of several genes that produce or distribute melanin. The condition can be passed by either one or both parents having the albinism gene.
Children are usually at risk of having albinism. There are different types of albinism. There are types that affect the skin, hair and eyes. For example, ocular albinism is the result of a gene mutation on the X chromosome and occurs almost exclusively in males. It only affects the eyes. These people have normal skin color, but have no coloring in the Retina (black of the eye).
People with albinism may have to limit their outdoor activities because their skin and eyes are sensitive to the sun. Ultra Violet rays from the sun can cause skin cancer and vision loss in some people with albinism. The symptoms of albinism include: an absence of color in the hair, skin or eyes, lighter than normal coloring of the hair, skin or eyes, patches of skin that have an absence of color.
People really are inhumane, as Albinos are being butchered and their body parts being sold. Tanzania for example, has a dark relationship with albinism. Albinos in Tanzania live in fear of witch doctors who prize their body parts. Witch doctors want those with the condition to sell their body parts which are used in potions to bring good luck and wealth. The victims can be kidnapped by hired killers or sold by their families, with their body parts fetching up to $75,000 ksh.
But this is not the greatest threat to the people. Without melanin to protect them, Albinos are at a high risk of getting skin cancer which is referred to as “the silent killer.” The closer you are to the equator, the higher the risk of getting cancer, thus affecting people living near the equator in Africa. Sunscreen helps protect these people from direct sunlight, but, since it is expensive, the poor sometimes are forced to stay indoors. It is so hurtful, but what can they do?
What is the best thing about albinos? Albinos are heroes, and they have proved that their disability is not an inability. Goldalyn Kukuya, a person affected by albinism, proved that she is the best among the best by being the top student in the KCPE in 2017. She was the top pupil in Kenya with 455 marks! It was unbelievable, but it really happened. She was selected to join Kenya High School as her dream school. Iron-Moses Mwaura is also an albino who is a member of parliament. He has proved that his condition cannot defy who he is. They are really inspiring. The list is long of the albinos who have stood against all odds and became someone in life.
Albinos are people like us, they breathe, have blood and talk like us. It is the best time to create awareness about albinos. We should stop human trafficking of them and let them live among us and see them become happy and feel human. Together, we can end the criticism against albinism.