The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, has vowed that the agency will adopt a multifaceted approach towards enforcing regulatory control to eliminate the distribution and use of harmful bleaching creams and cosmetics in the country.
Adeyeye disclosed this while declaring open the ‘media sensitisation workshop on dangers of bleaching creams and regulatory control’ held for the South-South states in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Adeyeye, who was represented by Leonard Omokpariola, NAFDAC’s Director of Chemical Evaluation and Research, said the regulatory measures include raids and clampdown on the promoters and users of bleaching creams and related items.
She said that the agency would commence the action after it had concluded its awareness campaign on the harmful effects of bleaching creams across the six geo-political zones, stressing that the menace had become a national emergency.
Adeyeye said, “It is imperative for me to warn that some of the harmful effects of bleaching creams include but not limited to cancer, damage to vital organs of the body, skin irritation and allergy, skin rashes, pimples, permanent skin aging and prolonged bleeding of nose.
“The World Health Organisation 2018 Study revealed that the use of skin bleaching creams was prevalent among 77% of Nigerian women, which was the highest in Africa compared to 59% of women in Togo, 35% in South Africa and 27% of women in Senegal.
“This scary statistic has shown that the menace of bleaching creams in Nigeria has become a national emergency that requires a multifaceted approach. Part of the multi-pronged approach are consultative and sensitisation meetings, such as this one going on here, and carrying out of raids on distribution outlets.
“In addition to those, NAFDAC will also take some other regulatory actions with respect to stemming the tide of the use of cosmetics and bleaching creams that are harmful and injurious to health.”
The NAFDAC boss appealed to all stakeholders, particularly the media, to support the agency’s move to halt the menace of bleaching cosmetics and safeguard the health of Nigerians.
Speaking earlier, the acting Zonal Director of NAFDAC, South-South, Chike Obiano, said the anti-bleaching creams and cosmetics campaign would be disseminated to the grassroots in order to drive home the message properly around the region.
He decried the negative impacts of skin bleaching cream and cosmetics on human health, stressing that the agency was determined to rid the society of the challenge.
Obiano urged the participants to own the fight against the use of skin bleaching cream and cosmetics as NAFDAC alone could not do it to achieve the target.