The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has disclosed that it’s efforts aimed at safeguarding the health of Nigerians is still threatened by “the dangerous tide of rampant and pervasive cases of Nigerians using bleaching creams.”
It will be recalled that NAFDAC had earlier declared a state of emergency on bleaching after establishing that Nigeria was ranked first in cases of bleaching among African countries
Speaking on Friday in Jos at the launch of the North Central Zonal Media Sensitisation workshop on the dangers of bleaching creams, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, decried the pervasive use of bleaching creams especially among the women despite the danger inherent in its usage.
Blaming the situation on lack of awareness on the part of those who indulge in the practice, the director general called on the media to assist the agency in educating the citizens so as not to endanger their lives in the process.
Adeyeye stressed, “As we don’t want you to eat food that will cause you problems, we also don’t want you to use creams that will cause problem for you in future.
“It is imperative for me to warn that some of the harmful effects of bleaching creams include cancer, damage to vital organs of the body, skin irritation and allergy, skin burn and rashes, wrinkles, premature skin aging and prolonged healing of wounds.
“A World Health Organisation 2018 study revealed that use of skin bleaching creams was prevalent among 77 per cent of Nigerian women which was highest in Africa compared to 59 per cent in Togo, 35 per cent in south Africa and 27 per cent women in Senegal. This scary statistic has shown that the menace of bleaching creams in Nigeria has become a national health emergency that requires a multi-faced regulatory approach.”
The Director General, who was represented by the Director of Chemical Evaluation and Research, Dr Leonard Omokpariola, pointed out that part of the multi-pronged approach which the agency had adopted in fighting the menace were consultative and sensitisation meetings as well as heightened raids on distribution outlets of bleaching creams.
She called for collaboration and support for NAFDAC to enable the agency equally rid the country of the menace of substandard and falsified medicines, unwholesome foods, corrosive cosmetics and other substandard regulated products.