Since 2015, this day have been commemorated on 13th of June in order to create awareness among people regarding albinism. “Made To Shine” is the theme for this year to celebrate the success and achievements of albinism person world wide.
Albinism, the term that’s familiar and sometime misunderstood by us. Albnism is a rare genetically inherited, non-contagious condition which could be easily identified by presence of little or no color in skin, hair or eyes since birth due to defect in the one of the several genes that produce or distribute Melanin. As a result of this, there is absence or reduced production of Melanin and children are at risk of being born with Albinism, if they have parents who have or carry the gene for albinism and become vulnerable to sun and bright lights.
The prevalence of albinism varies from country to country. But on the whole it ranges from 1 in 17 thousand to 1 in 20 thousand. There are different types of Albinism due to different gene mutation affecting various point along melanin pathway.
There are so many health effects due to presence of Albinism. People with albinism have vision abnormalities which cannot be rectified by wearing glasses. There may be abnormal development of retina and nerve connection in the eye and brain that affects the vision. The degree of vision impairment varies with the type of albinism. Even though, still there is defect following visual acuity correction, they adapt themselves to perform innumerable activities.
In tropical counties like Sri Lanka, people with albinism who do not have sufficient skin protection are in risk of developing skin cancer. With the adequate skin protection, the incidence of skin cancer can be reduced by using sunscreen and opaque clothing.
People with albinism are at risk of Social isolation because of misconception, myths and heavily influenced by superstitious belief. Social issue mainly arises in community of dark skinned where paternity of the person with albinism may be doubted. Especially in this pandemic period people with albinism continue to suffer all types of human violations. Bullying, killing, attacks and discrimination still continue against people with albinism. Even after so much of problems, these people continue to overcome the obstacles and face injustice and cope in spite of setbacks.
Families and friends should make efforts in encouraging the children to participate in school activities and treating them as normal child. We need to create awareness among the people regarding this and stand against any sort of discrimination, violence and abuse towards the people with albinism. Create a better place for them where they made to shine.
By Rtr. P. Krishanth | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org