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Albinism is an inherited condition, where a person is unable to produce melanin( colouring of the skin, hair and eyes), lack of pigment.

There are different kinds of Albinism condition

  • Ocular Albinism (OA) affects the eyes and is much less common. Most cases are recorded in males .Children with ocular Albinism may have skin and hair colour that are normal but slightly lighter than those of other family members
  • Oculocutaneous Albinism is the condition that affects the skin, hair and eyes , this can be easy identified by the appearance of white skin person or person with a condition of Albinism , this is the most visible form of Albinism

Every person with Albinism inherit the condition from both parents , mother and father. Both parents of a person with Albinism , whether they have a condition or not must carry the genetic traits of Albinism before a child with Albinism can be born. When both parents carry the Albinism traits there is a one in four chance (25% chance) at each pregnancy that the baby will be born with the Albinism.

Normal pigmented children born to such parents mighty also carry the genetic traits for Albinism. Such children may in turn pass the traits to their own children.

    EYES
  • Light brown to pale blue in colour
  • Sensitivity to the sun (photophobia)
  • Fast in voluntary back and forth movements of the eyes ( nystagmus)
  • Squinting ( strabismus)
  • SKIN
  • Very light and pale in colour
  • Freckling or pigmented patches might develop on sun exposure areas (ephelides)
  • Very sensitive to the sun ( burn easly)
  • HAIR
  • Hair colour ranges from white , yellow , light brown to reddish
  • Eyelashes and brows whitish
    Vision problems
  • People with Albinism always have problems with vision that are not completely correctable with eye glasses Vision problems in Albinism results from abnormal development of nerve connection between the eye and the brain due to the low or lack of colour (Melanin).
  • The degree of vision impairment varies with the different type of Albinism and most people with Albinism generally have low vision.
  • Most persons with Albinism do not use braille .
  • A small number of people with Albinism have sufficient vision to drive e a car
  • Skin problems
  • People with Albinism need to take precaution to avoid damage to their skin caused by the sun. Due to this sensitivity people with Albinism may develop sores on the skin that could develop into skin cancer.
  • Social challenges
  • People with Albinism are at risk of isolation because the condition is often understood
  • Social stigmatisation can occur , specially within communities where other family members have dark skin and appearance
  • Educational challenges
  • Person with Albinism cannot read from the blackboard in a normal class room set up
    Eye Care
  • It is recommended spectacles with special lenses be used
  • Dark glasses be worn when outside
  • Participation in early intervention and stimulation programs are encouraged
  • Skin Care It is recommended that people with Albinism;
  • Keep out of the sun specially between 9h00 am and 16h00 pm in summer
  • Use sun barriers cream with at least SPF 25 ( sun protection factor) on sun expose areas
  • Use lip protection cream of at least SPF 25
  • Wear large brimmed hat
  • Long sleeve cotton shirt and blouses with high collars
  • Wear long trousers and slacks whenever possible to protect the legs
  • Social Remmedies
  • Families and schools must make an effort to include children with Albinism in group activities
  • It is essential to form support groups in the communities. The support groups will provide information and will alleviate trauma
  • provide information and alleviate trauma
  • Educational interventions
  • Teachers and educators must make extra effort to re-organise the class room so that persons with Albinism are positioned in front of the class and move closer to the blackboard as needed.
  • If the organising of class or repositioning fails , the teachers and educators must be prepared to photocopy the notes and give copies to each person with Albinism in their class.
  • Exams, teacher’s notes and other printed/photo-copied hand outs must be clear and with large enough print
  • Extra time must be granted for exam writing for the person with Albinism