Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has expressed her concerns regarding the menace of bleaching creams in Nigeria which she says has become a national health emergency.
Professor Adeyeye stated this while delivering a speech at the Media Sensitization Workshop on Dangers of Bleaching Creams and Regulatory Control organised by the Association of Nigerian Health Journalists in Kano State Northwest Nigeria.
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She said that; 77% of those engaged in bleaching in Nigeria were women, stressing the calls for a multifaceted approach in fighting the menace.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) study in 2018 revealed that the use of bleaching cream is prevalent amongst 77% of Nigerian women which is the highest in Africa compared to 59% in Togo, 35% in South Africa and 27% in Senegal.
“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.
“Even though I have assigned some of my competent officers to carry out this training, it has become imperative on me to warn that some of the harmful effects of bleaching creams include cancer, damage to vital organs in the body, skin irritation and allergy, skin burn and rashes, wrinkles, premature aging and prolonged healing of wounds.”
Professor Adeyeye also explained that in response to these statistics, the Nigerian Government, through the office of the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha wrote to NAFDAC last year, seeking for stringent measures to be implemented against the menace.
She further said that sensitisation workshops in the six geopolitical zones were part of the measures taken.
“The sensitization workshop is a training of trainers programme with the great expectation that participants will assume roles of champions in the vanguard of campaign against use of bleaching creams
“I wish to assure you that NAFDAC will henceforth constantly engage the Mass Media as we strive to bring down to the grass levels the positive impact of our regulatory activities.”