The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC has again sensitised the mass media for onward information dissemination to the grassroots on dangers and health risks associated with the use of bleaching creams.
The agency noted that there is a need to collaborate with the media to achieve desired results in its campaign against bleaching creams.
Speaking at the flag-off of a one-day Southwest Zonal media sensitisation workshop held in Ibadan, the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye while explaining what her agency has done and still doing across the country to curb the circulation and distribution of illicit and unapproved products in the market, highlighted several dangers associated with ignorant purchase of creams.
She urged buyers to beware and remain conscious of certain details usually inscribed on products labels before final procurements.
She said competent hands of the agency have been assigned to carry out the media training exercise, while maintaining that it became imperative 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 ageing and prolonged healing of wounds.
According to her, the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2018) study revealed that the use of skin bleaching creams was prevalent among 77 percent of Nigerian women which was highest in Africa compared to 59 percent in Togo, 35 per cent in South Africa and 27 percent women in Senegal.
She, however, advised that people especially, those in the habit of bleaching their skins must fully appreciate their natural complexions and be very mindful of using substance and creams that may cause irreversible damage to their body, stressing that NAFDAC has continued to sustain its intensified efforts to raise awareness on health risks associated with using bleaching creams.
She said, “It is my pleasure to be here again in this historic city of Ibadan for the flag-off of the South-West Zonal Media Sensitisation Workshop on the Dangers of Bleaching Creams.
“Last year, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha acting on the resolutions of the Senate wrote to NAFDAC stressing the need to take stringent regulatory actions to stem the dangerous tide of rampant and pervasive cases of Nigerians using bleaching creams.
“We immediately took some decisive steps such as sensitisation of the public through different media outlets, enforcement through intelligence and raids in trade fair complexes that have resulted in large seizures and destruction of violative products.
“One of such sensitisation actions was the flag-off of Media Sensitisation Workshops organised for Journalists in Abuja, Lagos and Kano.
“Today’s sensitisation workshop is therefore a fulfillment of my promise to cascade it to the six geo-political zones in the country as a deliberate strategy of mobilising, educating, sensitising, and challenging Nigerian Health Journalists to play frontline role in our concerted efforts to eradicate the menace of bleaching creams and needless waste of scarce resources in Nigeria.
“This sensitisation workshop is a training the Trainers’ programme with the great expectation that participants will assume role of champions in the vanguard of the campaign against use of bleaching creams”, she added.