The Director General of the National Agency for Foods and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, has raised concern over the use of bleaching creams in Nigeria and described it as a national emergency. The DG made the comment at a media workshop in Maiduguri that was focused on the dangers of bleaching creams.
According to a 2018 World Health Organisation (WHO) study, 77% of Nigerian women use bleaching creams, which is far higher than Togo’s 59%, South Africa’s 35% and Senegal’s 27%.
The DG declared that the bleaching cream problem in Nigeria had become a national health emergency that required a multi-faced regulatory approach. She noted that the agency was adopting a multi-pronged approach, including sensitization meetings such as the media workshops planned for all the six geo-political zones in the country.
The aim of the sensitization workshop was to raise awareness and educate the public on the dangers of bleaching creams. Adeyeye explained that the use of bleaching creams was harmful, and could cause cancer, damage to vital organs, skin irritation, skin burns and rashes, wrinkles, premature skin ageing, and prolonged healing of wounds.
She urged Nigerian health journalists to play a frontline role in the concerted effort to eradicate the use of bleaching creams in the country.