Albinism is a stable genetic condition characterized by a lack of pigment in a person’s hair, skin and eyes. In most parts of the world, this means a person with albinism will look different from others, have a degree of visual impairment, and have to be careful about limiting sun exposure.
However, in many parts of East Africa, albinism is a death sentence. In addition to the current deadly black market crisis, the average person with albinism in East Africa dies by age of 30 from skin cancer, and only 2 percent of people with albinism live to age 40. Africans with albinism are routinely shunned by their communities and excluded from society. They are denied access to education and lack even a basic understanding of albinism and how to prevent skin cancer and protect themselves from excess sunlight.