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"The person who shies at the possibility of increased responsibilities or at the prospect of future uncertainties is hardly worthy of life itself, for life consists of uncertainties, problems and challenges of various types."

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Under the Same Sun - A site out to fight the cause of the Albinos

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Who are Albinos?

You know it is very hard to appreciate something without having enough information about it. In this post, as I promised in the maiden post , we are going to look at who albinos really are.

The first thing I’ll say about them is that albinos are REAL and COMPLETE human beings. They are entitled to every single right that any other “normal” human being is entitled to.

But because of the paleness of their skin, funny-looking hair, squinting eyes and myriad more reasons, some people feel that they are lesser human beings. This is not true.

The basic reason why this blog was set up is to fight the cause of albinos especially in Tanzania. This will go hand in hand with breaking age-old stereotypical and prejudiced thoughts about albinos in our communities.

Let me digress a bit and tell you something about myself in relation to what I am saying here.

My name is Richard. I am not an albino. This blog is the fruit of a harrowing tussle I’ve had in my heart, of late, about the current predicament of albinos in our country, Tanzania. The thought of setting up a blog to speak out for them, albinos, came charging right through my mind like an avalanche whose time to wreak havoc had come. Albinos need you and me to speak out and save them from marauding and importunate witch-doctors. These witch-doctors demand albino body parts from them who need instant wealth. They tell them (the with-doctors to the people) that by getting albino body parts (which, of course, means killing albinos) they will bid farewell to penury and embrace a life replete with wealth. Such is the warped and tattered society you and I are part of!

Let me go back to the gist of my post: Who are albinos?

Albinos are people suffering from albinism. They lack normal melanin pigmentation. The absence of this pigment is observed in the body covering (skin and hair) and in the iris of the eyes. The blood vessels of the retina show through the iris, giving it a pink or reddish color, and the eyes are highly sensitive to light.

Albinism is hereditary; it is not an infectious disease and cannot be transmitted through contact, blood transfusions, or other vectors. The principal gene which results in albinism prevents the body from making the usual amounts of the pigment melanin.

We’ll continue talking more about albinos and what should be done to save them from annihilation!


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