THE NATIONAL Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has declared the use of bleaching creams as a serious national health emergency in the country.
The development is coming after Nigeria was ranked number one in the use of bleaching creams in Africa.
The Director General of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye, disclosed this on Thursday, February 9, in Kano.
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Speaking at the flag-off of a media sensitization workshop on the dangers of bleaching creams organised by the Association of Nigerian Health Journalists, Adeyeye revealed that Nigeria ranks first in Africa among the countries that use bleaching creams.
She noted that 77 per cent of Nigerian women use bleaching creams.
“The World Health Organisation study in 2018 revealed that the use of skin bleaching cream is prevalent amongst 77 per cent of Nigerian women, which is the highest in Africa compared to 59 per cent in Togo, 35 per cent in South Africa and 27 per cent in Senegal.
“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,” she said.
Adeyeye added that the Federal Government is working assiduously to implement stringent measures against the menace.
According to the NAFDAC boss, sensitization workshops in the six geo-political zones were part of the measures being taken to discourage the use of bleaching creams.
“This sensitization workshop is a training of trainers program with the great expectation that participants will assume roles of champions in the vanguard of the campaign against the use of bleaching creams.
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“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.”
Adeyeye further warned against the harmful effects of bleaching.
“Even though I have assigned some of my competent officers to carry out this training, it has become imperative for 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 ageing and prolonged healing of wounds,” she stated.