With May, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, quickly coming to an end I wanted to highlight a cause I just found out about – Hats On For Skin Health.
This organization aims to help albinos in Tanzania, a country with an extremely high rate of albinism, protect their very sensitive skin from skin cancer. As their website explains:
Hats On For Skin Health is a global campaign to spotlight the deadly effects that sun rays can have on the sensitive skin of albinos. Through a worldwide effort, the program aims to raise funds to purchase hats and other sun-protective items for albinos living in Tanzania, a country in East Africa with one of the highest rates of albinism in the world.
Skin cancer in Africans with albinism.
For a variety of reasons including social stigma, lack of education, and limited job opportunities, manual labor in the hot African sun is often the only work available to albinos. Prolonged sun exposure threatens the lives of tens of thousands of albinos living in East Africa, but few understand the sun’s damaging, if not deadly, effects. 1
Rates of skin cancer among albinos in the countryside are much higher than they need to be for want of simple, inexpensive protective measures and health education. 3
Preventing sun damage is key to preventing skin cancer.
A study conducted in northern Tanzania reported that although albinos previously died between 20 and 30 years of age, today they can live considerably longer because of preventive sun protection. 4
Many factors play a role in skin cancer prevention, including education about sun avoidance, sun blocks and shade provided by protective clothing such as large-brimmed hats and clothing with long sleeves. Albinos and parents of albino children must be informed about the disease and how to prevent sun damage.4
When you donate to this organization your money goes toward the following cause:
Your Hats On For Skin Health donation will go a long way to preventing skin cancer by providing a hat and other sun-protective items to albinos in East Africa and supporting regional outreach and education efforts through the Regional Dermatology Training Center in Moshi, Tanzania.
So if you are looking for a way to help others I suggest considering donating to this cause. What I learned on the organization’s website I found both frightening and heartbreaking. It is great to know that a hat can make such a great difference in another person’s life. Think about donating today.