The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has urged Nigerians to shun use of bleaching creams that mostly contain mercuric compounds to avert skin cancer and kidney disease, as well as other complex health issues.
NAFDAC’s deputy director in charge of cosmetics and medical devices, drug evaluation and research, Pharmacist Ebele Anto stated this while addressing journalists at the North-East Zonal Sensitisation Workshop organised by the Agency for Borno and Yobe States Journalists on the Dangers of Bleaching Creams and Regulatory Control on Wednesday in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
She noted that, most of the bleaching products contain mercury, hydroquinone, and steroid which causes kidney disease and severe skin cancer among others.
She said, “It also depends on how long someone is using bleaching products and the area he/she is applying the cream as well as the kind of ingredients implicated, that determines the danger and damage that can be done to the body in general.
“Skin bleaching reduces the concentration or production of melanin in the skin, melanin is a pigment produced by cells called melanocytes. The amount of melanin in your skin is mostly determined by genetics.
The massage we are passing is that people should desist from using bleaching creams or products because of these dangers.”
She advised people to accept their skin color as unique gift, saying, “it is better for you to be proud of your black skin and embrace it as a culture and know that its beautiful and that black is beauty, hence we should proud to be blacks”.
She noted that Countries like Ghana, Cameroon and other African nations have banned the use of skin bleaching products because of the dangers associated with them.
Earlier speaking, the Director General NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, noted that last year, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha acting on the resolutions of the Senate wrote to NAFDAC stressing the need to take stringent regulatory actions to stem the dangerous tide of rampant and pervasive cases of Nigerians using bleaching creams.
She said NAFDAC immediately took some decisive steps such as sensitization of the public through different media outlets, enforcement through intelligence and raids in trade fair complexes that have resulted in large seizures and destruction of violative products.
Represented by Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, Director Public Affairs NAFDAC, she said the agency required the media to combat the menace of bleaching creams usage, adding that such sensitisation workshops organized for Journalists has so far held in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Jos, Port-Harcourt, Enugu and today in Maiduguri.
” Today’s sensitisation workshop is therefore a fulfillment of my promise to cascade it to the six geo-political zones in the country as a deliberate strategy of mobilising, educating, sensitising, and challenging Nigerian Health Journalists to play frontline role in our concerted efforts to eradicate the menace of bleaching creams and needless waste of scarce resources in Nigeria.
“This sensitisation workshop is a training the trainers’ programme with the great expectation that participants will assume role of champions in the vanguard of the campaign against use of bleaching creams,” She said…..