Can make albino white children

What is albinism?

To protect ourselves from UV and solar radiation, we need melanin. These reddish, brown or black pigments are formed in the so-called melanocytes of the skin, in the retina and in the iris of the eye. The proportion of melanin determines whether we are dark-skinned or have white skin.

In people with albinism, the biosynthesis of this dark pigment is disturbed. This is how the typical characteristics come about: white hair, white skin, light eye color - the iris of the eye is not completely opaque, the eyes are extremely sensitive to light.

Different shapes

Albinism occurs in two basic forms: One is so-called oculocutaneous albinism, or OCA for short. Skin and hair are affected, but also the eyes. In the first subgroup of this type of albinism; OCA 1, people do not produce any - or only very little - melanin, the pigmentation is disturbed. This leads to the typical white hair and extremely light skin. With type OCA 2, low pigmentation can often be detected in the course of life. In the third form of oculocutaneous albinism, OCA 3, people have residual pigmentation.

The second main form is ocular albinism, OA for short, which hits the eyes. Many suffer from significant visual disturbances. There are no noticeable features in the rest of the body.

Not just fair skin and white hair

Since people with albinism lack natural protection, they have a greatly increased risk of getting sunburn, for example. This in turn increases the risk of developing skin cancer.

Since melanin is also important for the eye, the visual acuity of those affected is severely limited depending on the type of albinism. The so-called fovea centralis - the pit of vision and the point of sharpest vision - is often insufficiently developed. Many people with this condition also have problems spatially observing. And most of them suffer from what is known as nystagmus. That means: your eyes involuntarily tremble in order to counteract overexposure to the retina, since the natural protection is missing. People with albinism often compensate for this with strong sunglasses, which help with the increased sensitivity to light.

Barbaric

  • Congo: proud to be albino

    Dangerous ignorance

    Because of their skin color, albinos are marginalized or even persecuted by society. Albinism is a hereditary disease - a pigment disorder of the skin.

  • Congo: proud to be albino

    Don't just see the color of your skin

    It is the first festival of its kind: "Fièrement Ndundu" - "Proud to be albino" - is a small revolution. The festival in the Congolese capital Kinshasa lasted three days, during which those affected campaigned for more acceptance. Lived tolerance right from the opening: The audience is not just made up of albinos.

  • Congo: proud to be albino

    Myths About Albinos

    Organizer Yannick Mambo wants to dispel prejudices about albinism. In East Africa in particular, the superstition that albinos possess magical powers is still widespread. In neighboring Tanzania, they are sometimes even persecuted and killed - their body parts bring hundreds of euros on the black market. "The world is a mosaic," says Mambo. "Our skin colors are like the little parts of it."

  • Congo: proud to be albino

    Good for business

    One workshop was aimed specifically at retailers or women with their own business. You should not see the disease as a flaw, but discover a strength in it.

  • Congo: proud to be albino

    Learn to like to attract attention

    Businesswoman Chantal Mulani is grateful for the talk on marketing. She has learned that her illness can also draw attention to her business. "I've never seen it that way: instead of being ashamed of the disease, I consider it a 'trump card'."

  • Congo: proud to be albino

    Celebrity support

    Albino parents often hide their children at home for fear of persecution. Lexus Légal (right) doesn't think that's right. The Congolese rapper moderated the opening. He used his popularity to appeal to the parents' conscience: "You have to make your children feel loved. Parents must not stigmatize their own children."

  • Congo: proud to be albino

    Strong words

    Samy Mulumba wants to encourage the audience with his story. He has made a career himself and works as a prosecutor at the court in Kinshasa. At the festival he informed those present about their rights. "The rights of people with albinism must be respected."

    Author: Saleh Mwanamilongo


Most people with albinism live in Africa. There they are particularly noticeable and are still discriminated, persecuted, and sometimes even killed in some countries. Behind this is the superstition that people with albinism have magical powers and that special remedies can be obtained from their bones. So it comes to ritual murders again and again. Individual body parts bring hundreds of euros on the black market. People - whether dead or alive - are sold for up to 65,000 euros.

Various organizations are trying to make the public and politicians aware of this barbarism and to put an end to it worldwide.

A hereditary disease

In the inheritance of ocular albinism, OA, the corresponding gene is on the X chromosome, of which women have two. Men, on the other hand, have a Y and an X chromosome. This so-called X-linked albinism only occurs in male offspring. Female offspring, on the other hand, can carry the gene but are not themselves affected.

In oculucutaneous albinism, OCA, both parents must have the same form of albinism in order to pass the disease on. The parents, however, can have normal pigmentation, but have the appropriate genetic information.

Worldwide, an average of one in 20,000 is affected. In Germany around 5000 people suffer from albinism. The NOAH Albinism Self-Help Group supports them.