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Youth News

Hirsch Lyons High embarks on albinism awareness drive

  • YouthHirschLyonsAlbinism
We regularly see people with albinism in Johannesburg, but do we know what causes this lack of pigmentation and the challenges they face?
by Martine Bass | May 17, 2018

Nomasonto Mazibuko, founder of the Albinism Society of South Africa (ASSA), visited Hirsch Lyons High School and spoke to the teachers and pupils. Her talk invoked compassion and a clearer understanding of albinism. Mazibuko said her mission is to educate people and “dispel myths and misconceptions about albinism” in order to “alleviate trauma and to enhance the self-esteem of people with albinism”.

People with albinism are born with a genetic condition that affects their pigmentary pathway. Oculocutaneous albinism type 2 (OCA2) is the most common form of albinism found in our South African black population. They produce little or no melanin, the natural pigment that gives colour in our hair, eyes and skin. People with this condition are at high risk of sunburn and developing cancer, so sun protection lotion is essential for them.

Hirsch Lyons has started a collection of sun protection lotion for ASSA to distribute to its members. Pupils handed over the first collection this week. ASSA kindly donated books about albinism awareness to the school.

International Albinism Awareness Day falls on June 13. Let’s all make a difference.

  • Anyone wanting to contribute to the sun protection lotion collection, please contact Hirsch Lyons High School on 082 903 2564

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