What is an albino?
Albinos cannot produce pigment. Because albinos have no pigmentation they have very light blond hair, very light blue eyes that look red in bright light and a very light skin that never tans.
Healthy people produce pigment under the influence of the UV light from the sun. Under the influence of this UV light you skin becomes browner.. As well as a nice tan pigment normally gives colour to the hair and eyes. Pigment also provides protection against damaging effect in UV light. So the UV-light from the sun damages the retinas and skin of African Albinos. Without the protection of sun lotion albinos can develop skin cancer at a young age.
In the Netherlands and other western countries we have only a few albinos, (about 1 in 17.000 people is albino), but in Africa albinism occurs much more. Among black Africans a certain form of albinism (Oculo-cutaneous Albinisme type 2) occurs frequently. The percentage of black Africans that is a carrier of this form of albinism is between 2,9% (1 op 35) 1/2, 3/4, 5/6 and 4,5%
(1 op 22). Of the African population south of the Sahara an estimated 1 in 2000 to 1 in 5000 people has albinism. For unknown reasons there are more albinos in certain African countries than in others. In particular Malawi, Mali and Senegal have many albinos.
Extensive information about the different forms, genes and other problems concerning albinism.