Nigeria has been ranked first in cases of bleaching in Africa, according to National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, on Thursday, raised the alarm on the menace of bleaching creams in Nigeria, saying the problem has become a national emergency that calls for serious attention.
She made the remarks while flagging off a media sensitisation workshop on Dangers of Bleaching Creams and Regulatory Control organised by the Association of Nigerian Health Journalists in Kano on Thursday.
“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 destruction 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 bleaching cream is prevalent among 77 percent of Nigerian women, which is the highest in Africa compared to 59 percent in Togo.
The director-general also said South Africa accounted for 35 percent while Senegal had 27 percent.
”These scary statistics have 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 bring down 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 the use of bleaching creams in Nigeria.
“Public ignorance is not an excuse before the law. The role of the mass media in the promotion of public health is very important not only for cosmetics and all other NAFDAC regulatory products,” Jimoh said.
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