Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, has declared national emergency on skin bleaching in the country.
Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General of NAFDAC, raised the alarm on the menace of bleaching creams in Nigeria, saying the problem has become a national emergency that calls for serious attention.
Adeyeye, spoke at the Media Sensitisation Workshop on Dangers of Bleaching Creams and Regulatory Control organised by the Association of Nigerian Health Journalists, yesterday, in Kano.
According to her, skin bleaching is gradually becoming a health hazard, adding that 77 per cent of Nigerian women engage in the act, which should not be left unchecked.
In her words: “The World Health Organisation study in 2018 reveal that use of skin bleaching cream is prevalent among 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.
“This scary statistics has shown that the menace of bleaching creams in Nigeria has become a national health emergency that requires a multi-faceted regulatory approach.”
She noted some of the harmful effects of bleaching creams to include cancer, damage to vital body organs, skin irritation and allergy, skin burn and rashes, wrinkles, premature ageing and prolonged healing of wounds.
She also explained that in response to these statistics, the Federal Government, through the office of the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha wrote to NAFDAC last year seeking stringent measures to be implemented against the menace. She added that sensitization workshops in the six geopolitical zones were part of the measures being taken.