Monday, June 30, 2008

Albinism Awareness

The Albinism Foundation of East Africa (ALFEA) held a forum on Saturday to raise awareness about Albinism. The guest of honour was Ms. Al-Shaymaa Kwegyir, a member of Parliament in Tanzania.

MP Kwegyir distributing Hats:

Mumbi Ngugi, one of the AFEA trustees:

A poem performed by students of St. Lucy's School

Mary and me:

Mary and Carmile from Thika School for the Blind:

AFEA trustees Mumbi Ngugi and Dr Prabha Choksy (Opthamologist):

Albinism is a genetic condition characterized by a lack of melanin pigment in the eyes, skin and hair. As melanin helps protect the eyes and skin from ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun, people with albinism are unusually sensitive to sunlight and thus very susceptible to sunburn.

In addition, their irises do not have enough pigment to block the light that enters the eye. However, not all people with albinism are blind. Children with albinism in Kenya are often placed in schools for the visually impaired for no reason. Such stigma's can only be overcome by spreading awareness about the condition.

Light sensitivity (photophobia) generally leads to a dislike of and discomfort in bright light, but does not prevent these children from enjoying the outdoors, especially when using sunscreen, sunglasses and/or brimmed hats.

Contact us at amkakenya[AT]gmail[DOT]com or +254 (0)726 67 39 31 if you would like to donate: hats, sunscreen, sunglasses or prescription glasses.

1 comment:

Omutahinga said...

Thank you for posting this. There is pitifully little information about Albinism Foundation of East Africa on the www. Do you have a contact for the foundation? Could you email it to be at if you have the time?

Thank you again.