The National Agency For Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has urged journalists in the country to join the collective effort on the dangers of bleaching creams.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made the call at a Media sensitisation workshop on dangers of bleaching creams and regulatory controls, which was organised for the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists.
Adeyeye said the workshop is aimed at educating and challenging Nigeria health journalists to play prompt line role in the agency’s effort to eradicate the menace of bleaching creams.
“In 2022 the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, wrote to NAFDAC stressing the need to take stringent regulatory action against the rampant cases of some Nigerians using bleaching creams.
“We immediately took action and made a large seizure and distruction of violating products in trade fair.
”Bleaching creams damage vital organs in the body, skin irritation, allergy, skin burn, rashes, wrinkles and prolong healing of wounds.
“Black is beautiful, we don’t need to change our colour,” she said.
She said that in 2018 the World Health Organisation revealed that the use of bleeching cream is prevalent among 77 per cent of Nigerian women, which is the highest in Africa compared to 59 per cent in Togo.
The director-general also said South Africa accounted for 35 per cent while Senegal had 27 per cent .
”This scary statistics has shown that the menace of bleaching creams in Nigeria has become a national health emergency that requires a multi faceted regulatory approach.
“NAFDAC will constantly engage the mass media, as we strive to bringdown to the grass root levels positive impact of our regulatory activities.”
Also speaking, NAFDAC Director of Public Affairs, Dr Abubakar Jimoh said the workshop was to educate the mass media with the right information and campaign against use of bleaching creams in Nigeria.
“Public ignorance is not an excuse before the law. The role of the mass media in promotion of public health is very important not only for cosmetics and all other NAFDAC regulatory products” Jimoh said.