SOURCE: Canadian Dermatology Association

June 11, 2015 19:55 ET

World's Dermatologists to Mark the United Nations' First-Ever International Albinism Awareness Day

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - June 11, 2015) - On June 12, 2015 as the world's dermatologists convene in Vancouver for the 23rd World Congress of Dermatology (WCD), representatives from the International Foundation for Dermatology (IFD) and Under the Same Sun (UTSS) will join the WCD to mark the first-ever International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD).

Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited condition that occurs worldwide regardless of ethnicity or gender. It most commonly results in the lack of melanin pigment in the hair, skin and eyes, causing vulnerability to sun exposure. This can lead to skin cancer and in all cases includes visual impairment. Both parents must carry the gene for it to be passed on to their children, even if they do not themselves have manifestations of the condition.

The prevalence of albinism varies across the world. According to the World Health Organization, estimates vary from one in 5,000 to one in 15,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Tanzania, one in 1,400 people have albinism. In Europe and North America, one in 20,000 people have the condition, according to Under the Same Sun. However, data on the prevalence of albinism by country remains scarce.

Where: Vancouver Convention Centre
East Building, Room 20
999 Canada Place, Vancouver

When: Friday, June 12, 2015, 8 a.m.

Who: Dr. Jerry Shapiro, President of the 23rd World Congress of Dermatology
Dr. Harvey Lui, Secretary-General of the 23rd World Congress of Dermatology
Prof. Roderick Hay, Chairman of the International Foundation for Dermatology
Mr. Paul Ash, Director of Administration for Under the Same Sun Canada

About the WCD
The World Congress of Dermatology is the world’s oldest and continuous international dermatology meeting. The first WCD was held in 1889 and is presented under the auspices of the International League of Dermatological Societies. The 23rd WCD is the first to be held in Canada. For more information, contact the WCD press office at 778-331-7624 or Follow the WCD on Twitter and Instagram at @Derm2015.

About the ILDS
The International League of Dermatological Societies is a non-governmental organization in official relations with the World Health Organization and was officially established in 1935 during the 9th International Congress of Dermatology and Syphilology held in Budapest. The objectives of the ILDS are to stimulate on a global basis the cooperation of societies of dermatology and societies interested in cutaneous medicine and biology; encourage the worldwide advancement of dermatological education, care, and science; promote personal and professional relations amongst dermatologists from around the world; represent dermatology in international health organizations; and, organize a World Congress of Dermatology every four years. For more information about the ILDS, connect with them on Twitter @ILDSDerm or visit

Contact Information

  • For further information or to RSVP, please contact:
    Jennifer Scott
    WCD 2015 Media Relations Director