February 9, 2023

Menace of bleaching cream in Nigeria, national health emergency – NAFDAC

In extreme cases of skin bleaching, the skin can become multi-coloured and marred with inflammation or scarring.

By Abdulmumin Murtala, Kano

The Director General of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, has raised alarm on the menace of bleaching creams in Nigeria which she says has become a national health emergency.

She stated this while delivering a flag-off speech at the Media Sensitization Workshop on Dangers of Bleaching Creams and Regulatory Control organised by the Association of Nigerian Health Journalists in Kano, on Thursday.

She added that 77 percent of those engaged in bleaching in Nigeria are women saying this calls for a multifaceted approach in fighting the menace of which she warns of fatal health hazards.

“The World Health Organization study in 2018 reveals that the use of skin bleaching cream is prevalent amongst 77 percent of Nigerian women which is the highest in Africa compared to 59 percent in Togo, 35 percent in South Africa and 27 percent in Senegal.

“These scary statistics have shown that the menace of bleaching creams in Nigeria has become a national health emergency that requires a multi-faceted regulatory approach.

“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 aging and prolonged healing of wounds” she stated.

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 for 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.

“This sensitization workshop is a training of trainers program with the great expectation that participants will assume roles of champions in the vanguard of campaign against use of bleeching creams

“I wish to asure you that NAFDAC will henceforth constantly engage the mass media as we strive to bringbdown to the grass levels the positive impact of our regulatory activities” she said.