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Albinism: The Allies and the Alibis

Albinism: The Allies and the Alibis
Posted March 27, 2022 | Category Medical and Health Journalism

Ibraheem Olasunkanmi Qoseem,
Ilorin
 

What happens when you see an albino? Do you connect seamlessly or you grow goose pimples and get covered by the aura of superiority? If you react awkwardly towards them, then it gives you away as an alibi of albinism. If you accept them as part of society, then you are the ally we are looking for.
 
It is sad to see discrimination in our contemporary society against albinism and clear lack of legislation to provide a safe place for them to enjoy life.
 
Against the shrouded myths, fallacies and embellished superstition that people living with albinism are possessed by supernatural power, it is crucial that the science behind this condition be brought to fore.
 
 Albinism is basically a lack of pigment called melanin, which is in the eyes, skin and hair, as a result of genetic disorder. It is not a communicable disease and carriers of such genes did nothing to acquire the condition. It affects all races, commonly Africans because the society is less mobile. It doesn't leave any gender behind either. Although it specifically affects men due to their single X-chromosome status unlike the female counterparts that have two X-chromosomes; meaning when one is mutated, the other compensates for the loss.
 
Apart from the physiological and physical issues that arise due to this genetic disorder which includes vision impairment caused by deficiency of pigments in the eyes and high risk of skin cancer due to rays exposure: the emotional and psychological trauma they endure due to name-calling, persistent teasing and bullying call for serious concern. They are humans and do not deserve the discrimination.
 
To the people living with this genetic abnormality, you are not alone. As you struggle to defy the odd of melanin deficiency, do know that other people are battling with other challenges like sickle cell anaemia, dwarfism, to mention a few
 
As you are set to stay strong and move on with life; never forget your sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays, always be in your protective clothing whenever the need arises to stay in the sun, get your regular eye treatment and avoid reading books with smaller prints.
 
Albinism will always be part of our population and conversion but we must all rise up against the alibis of albinism to create a safe place for the former
 

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