Research Output per year
While working as an expatriate lecturer in genetics at the University of Zimbabwe in the early 1990s I initiated a project investigating the inherited condition oculocutaneous albinism. Since then I have explored genetic, health, educational and social issues surrounding albinism in southern and central Africa, where this condition has a high frequency. My motivation is to provide the evidence base to inform policy and attitudes to albinism, from ministerial to village level, with the goal of improving the quality of life for this vulnerable group.
Research studies on albinism in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Ghana have been wide reaching with multiple partners and funders. Information has been gathered on the frequency of albinism in different populations, mutations in the gene causing the condition, sun protection strategies adopted to reduce the risk of developing sun induced skin damage, health (especially genetic) care for this vulnerable group, education (mainstream versus special schools) and social perceptions (and misconceptions) about albinism in African communities. These multi-faceted studies have been enriched by collaborations with local albinism associations in Africa and I have also been privileged to meet many families with albinism.
In addition to academic outputs, I have written (with other authors), two pamphlets on Albinism in Malawi; Information for children (also available in Chichewa) and information for teachers and parents. A further booklet for children with albinism in Zambia and another general one for Africa covers issues of inheritance. Posters and a radio drama called LOVE BUILDS have also been developed to educate communities about albinism. There materials are all open access and are used for training around issues of albinism in Africa.
Doctorate, University of Oxford
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article