The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has declared that the prevalent use of skin bleaching creams in Nigeria has become a national health emergency.
The director-general of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye, made the declaration at the Media Sensitization Workshop on Dangers of Bleaching Creams and Regulatory Controls, held in Kano on Thursday.
According to her, 77 percent of Nigerian women use skin-bleaching creams.
In her address at the opening of the workshop, Mrs Adeyeye said a World Health Organization, WHO, study in 2018 had revealed that Nigeria had the highest prevalence of use of skin bleaching cream in Africa.
Mrs Adeyeye said the study placed Nigeria highest above African countries with 77%, Togo 59%, South Africa 35% and Senegal with 27%.
According to her, the menace skin-bleaching creams has become a national health emergency that requires concerted efforts to eradicate.
“So you can see, we have a work cut across us, meaning NAFDAC and states. These scary statistics have shown that the menace of the use of skin-bleaching creams has become a national health emergency in Nigeria that requires a multifaceted regulatory approach.
“Part of the approach is consultative and sensitization meetings like this. Another is a heightened raid on the cream outlets.
“It is therefore an honor to declare open, this sensitization workshop. I urge you to spread the knowledge acquired here to the general public,” she said.
The DG described media as indispensable to the agency’s war against skin-bleaching creams, which it commenced last year.
She, therefore, vowed that NAFDAC would not rest on its oars until it eradicates the menace of bleaching creams or reduce it to the barest minimum.