After determining that Nigeria ranked first in the number of bleaching cases, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control issued a declaration of a state of emergency on bleaching on Thursday.
Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, issued a warning about the danger posed by bleaching creams in Nigeria, stating that the issue has evolved into a national emergency that requires immediate attention.
She made the remarks while launching a Thursday media sensitization workshop in Kano on the Association of Nigerian Health Journalists’ Dangers of Bleaching Creams and Regulatory Control.
She stated that 77% of bleachers in Nigeria are women, requiring a multifaceted strategy to combat the bleaching cream threat, of which she warned of fatal health risks.
According to a 2018 study conducted by the World Health Organization, 77% of Nigerian women use skin bleaching cream, which is the highest rate in Africa when compared to 59% in Togo, 35% in South Africa, and 27% in Senegal.
Prof. Adeyeye stated, “These frightening statistics have shown that the threat of bleaching creams in Nigeria has become a national health emergency that requires a multi-faceted regulatory approach.”
She stated that the Federal Government, through Boss Mustapha’s office as Secretary to the Government, wrote to NAFDAC last year to request stringent measures to be taken against the threat in response to these statistics.
She claims that the actions taken included the sensitization workshops in the six geopolitical zones.
“This sensitization workshop is a training of trainers program with the high expectation that participants will assume the roles of champions at the forefront of the campaign against bleaching cream use.
I can assure you that NAFDAC will continue to work with the media to highlight the positive effects of our regulatory activities to the general public.
Even though she stated, “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 wound healing,” she added. “Even though I have assigned some of my competent officers to carry out this training,”
In addition, Ahmad Yakasai, the former National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, issued a warning that bleaching cases among men and women would lead to serious health problems in Nigeria if they were not dealt with.
According to Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, NAFDAC’s Director of Public Affairs, the organization had only 3000 employees and served over 200 million people in the federation.