Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetic disorder related to the lack of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.

Albinism occurs worldwide, regardless of nationality or gender.
In the most common forms of albinism, both the father and the mother must pass on the genes. Even if the parents do not have albinism, they can still be carriers of the gene.

Skin, hair and eyes

Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetic disorder related to the lack of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.

The skin of someone with albinism is often very pale due to the lack of pigment. As a result, the skin is not protected from the sun, which means that the skin burns quickly and the risk of skin cancer is much bigger. The color of the hair is often white and the color of the eyes of people with albinism (as opposed to animals) is often blue. Because the retina contains no pigment, a red flurry can be seen when you look in the eye. People with albinism almost always have poor to very poor vision (10%) and the eyes are very sensitive to bright light (light shyness). Furthermore, the eyes of people with albinism often make random movements, this is called Nystagmus.

The curse

In East Africa people with albinism seem cursed. In many cases, if you are born with albinism, you are not sure of your life. The so-called “Witchdoctors” (medicine men) believe that people with albinism (MMA) possess magical powers. They believe that the MMA’s limbs, viscera and hair have healing powers, can determine the future and bring happiness.
More and more cases are known in which MMA are attacked with machetes on the street and even at home. There are even attacks on MMA, even by your own family members because a lot of money is paid for body parts. Many populations in Africa believe in witchcraft. Not only at the countryside, but also in the big cities, a lot of value is placed on Witchdoctors.
Businessmen, politicians, men and women turn to witch doctors for powders that incorporate MMA limbs. Faith is so popular that witch doctors can barely cope with demand and hire gangs to track down MMA, kill them, and rid their limbs. As a result, many children with albinism are mutilated and also many die from the injuries. The number of attacks on MMA is increasing.

Albinism is common in East Africa, but this number is highest in Tanzania. Here 1 in 20,000 babies are born with albinism and in East Africa this is 1 in 1400!