By Abimbola Kintum
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has raised the alarm about the proliferation of “dangerous” and “unregulated” bleaching creams in Nigeria markets.
The agency warned about the danger recently in a one-day workshop organised for media stakeholders in Enugu State titled, “The dangers of bleaching creams and regulatory controls.”
Delivering an address at the flag-off of the workshop, the Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who was represented by the Director of Chemical Evaluation and Research, Dr. Patrick Omokpariola, stated, “It is imperative for me 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 prolong healing of wounds.
Adeyeye urged Nigerian women to be proud of their skin colour, saying, “There’s no need to bleach.”
She said, “A World Health Organisation 2018 study revealed that use of skin bleaching creams was prevalent among 77 per cent of Nigerian women which was highest in Africa compared to 59 per cent in Togo, 35 per cent in South Africa and 27 per cent women in Senegal.
“This scary statistic has shown that the menace of bleaching creams in Nigeria has become a national health emergency that requires a multi-faced regulatory approach. Part of the multi-pronged approach is consultative/sensitisation meetings such as this and heightened raids on distribution outlets of bleaching creams.”
The DG, however, noted that sensitisation workshop was in fulfilment of her 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 their concerted efforts to eradicate the menace of bleaching creams and needless waste of scarce resources in Nigeria.