By Job Osazuwa
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), today, warned Nigerians against using sniper, insecticides to preserve any type of food or to keep flies away from meat. It also raised the alarm over the dangers of wrong use of pesticides.
This was made in Lagos during the ongoing campaign and creation of awareness about the various infractions that impact negatively on Nigerians’ health as well as the health care delivery system.
In her keynote address, the Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, described the sensitization campaign scheduled to hold in eight states as a significant exercise.
The director-general, who was represented by the Director-General of Ports Inspection Directorate, Prof. Samson Adebayo, stated that public awareness campaign was one of the veritable regulatory mechanisms put in place by NAFDAC to promote and protect the health of Nigerians.
She believes that a well-informed, sensitized and educated citizenry is the bedrock of effective regulation.
“This is why today’s event is another major milestone in our bid to protect Nigerians against the deleterious effects of unwholesome food, falsified medical products, harmful cosmetics, poor water and other substandard regulated products.
“The key objective of this sensitization programme is to intensify and expand the scope of our informal and formal behavioural change communication strategies in order to reach the vulnerable communities, especially at the grassroots. Dissemination of food and drug safety information is an important aspect of our regulatory work.
“It is common knowledge that Nigeria has a preponderant share of the global problem of falsified medical products and unwholesome food,” she said.
Adeyeye said that the advent of COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated the problem with the challenge posed by substandard and falsified personal protective equipment (PPEs). She stressed that the campaign would therefore contribute significantly to Federal Government’s concerted efforts to inform, sensitize, educate and alert the public about inherent dangers of intake and use of those spurious regulated products.
She added: “These campaign themes intend to address the following public health challenges such as dangers of buying medicines from hawkers. Patients are to buy medicines from only licensed pharmacies and medicine stores.
“We are also looking at the abuse of codeine and self-medication especially among youths; the dangerous effects of using kerosene tanker to load groundnut oil; dangerous practice of using potassium bromate to bake bread; the use of azo-dyes in palm oil which causes cancer; dangers of transfat and consumption of excessive oil and the use of formalin on food and its associated health hazards.
“Other areas of focus are the low level of exclusive breastfeeding practice by lactating mothers and its associated health hazards; wrong use of chemicals and its hazardous effects; and problem of antimicrobial resistance arising from animal meat.”
She informed the gathering that the mass media, vibrant youth organisations and civil societies in the pilot states would be in the forefront of the sensitization.
According to her, the target audiences are market women and men, road transport workers and employers, community youth Organisations and students.
Adeyeye said that NAFDAC has engaged the services of project consultant to drive the campaigns, particularly in presenting the messages to the audiences in the languages that they would understand better.
“Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the various communities take ownership of the care and management of their own health.
“This sensitization programme could not have been possible without the support and encouragement of the distinguished members of the Senate Committee on Health and Honourable Members of the House Committee on Healthcare Services. On this note I want to express my sincere appreciation to the Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe and his counterpart in the House Committee HonYusuf Tanko Sununu for their invaluable contributions and support for this Programme and other regulatory activities of the agency.
I also wish to thank the members of the Press for their unalloyed support. We will continue to count on your collaboration as the Agency intends to organise in phases and stagger the Sensitization campaigns to cover all the 36 states within available resources.
The post NAFDAC warns Nigerians against using sniper, insecticides to preserve foods appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.