Address of Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Christianah Adeyeye Delivered at the Flag-off of North-West Zonal Media Sensitization Workshop on Dangers of Bleaching Creams on Thursday, 9TH February 2023 in Kano
February 9, 2023,
It is my pleasure to be here again in this historic city of Kano to undertake some critical regulatory activities, part of which is the flag-off of the North-West Zonal Media Sensitization Workshop on the Dangers of Bleaching Creams.
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. We 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. One of such sensitization actions was the flag-off of Media Sensitization Workshops organized for Journalists in Abuja and Lagos.
Today’s sensitization 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 mobilizing, educating, sensitizing, 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 sensitization 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.
It is pertinent to mention that during my recent press conference in Abuja announcing my second tenure in office, I promised to continue the transformative agenda of my first tenure but intensify and widen the scope of our publicity and public awareness campaigns. I wish to assure you that NAFDAC will henceforth constantly engage the Mass Media as we strive to bring down to the grassroot level positive impacts of our regulatory activities.
Even though, I have assigned some of my competent officers to carry out this training exercise, 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.
A World Health Organization (WHO, 2018) study revealed that use of skin bleaching creams was prevalent among 77 percent of Nigerian women which was highest in Africa compared to 59 percent in Togo, 35 per cent in south Africa and 27 percent women in Senegal.
This 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 are consultative/sensitization meetings such as this and heightened raids on distribution outlets of bleaching creams.
It is therefore a great pleasure for me to declare open this Media Sensitization Workshop while urging you to assist NAFDAC in publicizing and disseminating knowledge acquired to the general public.
I thank you for your collaboration and support for NAFDAC to rid the country of the menace of substandard and falsified medicines, unwholesome foods, corrosive cosmetics and other substandard regulated products.