International Albinism Awareness Day is observed around the world on June 13 every year. The holiday is organized by the United Nations to battle the discrimination against those diagnosed with albinism and to create a society that is aware. Every year, the United Nations picks a unique theme to highlight the achievements of people with albinism around the world, to show that albinism cannot prevent a person from living their best life, and to encourage others to be accommodating of the needs of those with albinism. International Albinism Awareness Day also focuses on other health issues that are brought about by albinism.
History of International Albinism Awareness Day
Albinism is a rare, genetically inherited condition. Albinism is extremely rare, meaning both parents must carry the gene for the child to inherit the condition. The condition is found in both sexes regardless of ethnicity. Albinism results in a lack of pigmentation in the person affected by it — this means they have uncharacteristically light hair, skin, and eyes. This increases the risks associated with exposure to the sun and bright light. As a result, almost all people with albinism are visually impaired and at an increased risk of developing skin cancer. There is currently no cure for this condition.
In North America and Europe, one in every 20,000 people has some form of albinism, and one in 1,400 people in Sub-Saharan Africa. In some countries, a majority of individuals with albinism succumb to skin cancer between the ages of 30 and 40. Skin cancer can be easily preventable among those with albinism with regular health checks, sunscreen, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing. However, in many low-income group countries, these facilities may not be available to them.
Due to a lack of melanin in the skin and eyes, persons with albinism often have a permanent visual impairment and require corrective eyewear from a very early age. Persons with albinism also endure discrimination due to their skin color and face discrimination on the grounds of both disability and color. Celebrations, such as International Albinism Awareness Day, help us find ways to make society inclusive for people with albinism.
International Albinism Awareness Day timeline
Albinism is discovered by British physician Sir Archibald Edward Garrod.
One of Africa’s most popular singers has albinism.
She is the first fashion model with albinism.
The day is observed for the first time by the United Nations.
International Albinism Awareness Day FAQs
What causes albinism?
The cause of albinism is a defect in one of the genes that produce or distribute melanin. This may result in the absence or lack of pigmentation.
Are albinos blind?
Ocular albinism primarily affects the eyes by reducing the coloring eye, which is essential for normal vision. Ocular albinism may result in mild to moderate central vision impairment in most patients.
How long do albinos live?
Most people with albinism live a normal life span and have the same types of medical problems as the rest of the population. However, they are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer.
How to Observe International Albinism Awareness Day
Attend an awareness program
Find out if any community center near has organized any awareness programs for International Albinism Awareness Day. Attend the programs to learn about the condition and what you can do to help.
Spread the information
Spread the lessons from the awareness programs to your friends, family, and colleagues. Post about it online so more people can learn about the condition.
Make a difference by donating to organizations that help individuals with albinism in low-income group countries. This is the most significant way to observe International Albinism Awareness Day.
5 Interesting Facts About Albinism
A very rare disorder
One in 20,000 people has albinism.
It has other names too
Albinism is also known as hypo-pigmentation.
It is a completely genetic condition
You cannot contract albinism as it is genetic.
Diagnosis isn’t difficult
It is diagnosed by the child’s skin, hair, and eye color.
The severity is constant
It does not get worse or better with medical help.
Why International Albinism Awareness Day is Important
It raises awareness
International Albinism Awareness Day raises awareness about albinism. It educates about its causes and effects, and what can be done to manage the condition to the best of one’s abilities.
It makes the world a better place
People with albinism often face discrimination on the grounds of skin color and disability. However, International Albinism Awareness Day is committed to preventing such discrimination and making it a more equal society for all.
It saves lives
Albinism may result in skin cancer that can potentially be fatal to the individual. Awareness programs organized on International Albinism Awareness Day help find ways to prevent and treat skin cancer.
International Albinism Awareness Day dates