Global effort aims to aid albinos

June 15, 2011

The International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) and Stiefel have launched Hats On For Skin Heath, a global initiative on sun protection for albinos in sub-Saharan Africa.

Research Triangle Park, N.C. - The International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) and Stiefel, based here, have launched Hats On For Skin Heath, a global initiative on sun protection for albinos in sub-Saharan Africa.

The program will raise funds to purchase hats and other sun-protective items for albinos living in Tanzania, a country with one of the highest rates of albinism in the world. There is a high likelihood that Tanzania’s tens of thousands of albinos will develop skin cancer at a very early age, unless preventive measures are taken, according to a Stiefel statement.

The campaign was officially announced at the recent 22nd World Congress of Dermatology in Seoul, South Korea.

Statistics show that in Tanzania, 100 percent of albinos show signs of sun damage to their skin by age 10, and that between the ages of 20 and 30, half will have advanced skin cancers. As a result, less than 2 percent of albino children in Tanzania reach their 40th birthday.