LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – The National Agency For Food And Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has raised the alarm over the increasing abuse of bleaching creams in the country saying users face the risk of cancer.
The agency spoke against the backdrop of a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report, which found that nearly 77 percent of Nigerian women use skin-lightening products regularly.
This was disclosed by the Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, represented by the Director of Chemical Evaluation and Research, Dr. Patrick Omokpariola while delivering an opening address in a one-day workshop organized for media stakeholders in Enugu State.
The workshop held on 29 March, was titled, “The dangers of bleaching creams and regulatory controls.”
Dr. Patrick Omokpariola, stated that: “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.”
“The 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 sensitization workshop was in fulfilment of her promise to cascade it to the six geo-political zones in the country as a deliberate strategy of mobilizing, educating, sensitizing, 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.