By Onyinnye Okeke
Albinism is an inherited genetic condition that reduces the amount of melanin pigment formed in the skin, hair, and/or eyes. Albinism affects all racial backgrounds, ethnic group, and sex.
According to statistics, Nigeria is ranked among the highest in the world with an estimated figure of two million people living with albinism in the country. Over 600,000 Nigerians living with albinism suffer discrimination from their families, schoolmates, and peers.
The Albino Foundation (TAF) is the organization in Nigeria that empowers people living with albinism.
- People with Albinism do not have red eyes or special powers.
- Albinism is caused by genetic changes in both parents passed down from previous generations, not by a curse or infidelity.
- Albinism does not affect mental capacity.
- Albinism is present in many cultures and many animal species.
- People with albinism often have very poor eyesight.
International Albinism Awareness Day is celebrated on 13th June every year. This year’s theme is “Still Standing Strong”.
Despite all these challenges, persons with albinism remain positive and are STILL STANDING STRONG!