By Hassan Zaggi
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has announced that it has commenced sensitization campaigns against unwholesome food and falsified medical products across the country.
Briefing journalists on Wednesday in Abuja, the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye said the initiative was aimed at protecting Nigerians against the effects of practices that are detrimental to their well-being.
“It is our expectation that at the end of the campaigns, the participants and target audiences would become dependable partners and allies of NAFDAC and be in the forefront of sustaining the public awareness campaigns by disseminating the information and messages to the
Grassroots. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the various communities take ownership of the care and management of their own health,” she noted.
She explained that the first phase of the sensitization campaigns will hold in selected pilot states including Lagos, Kaduna and Kano starting from August to September, 2021.
The DG explained that the key objective of the exercise is to intensify and expand the scope of the agency’s informal and formal behaviour change communication strategies in order to reach the vulnerable communities, especially at the grassroots.
According to her, the campaign theme intends to address the dangers of buying medicines from hawkers, advising patients to buy medicines from only licensed pharmacies and medicine stores.
Other challenges include abuse of codeine and self-medication especially among youths, the dangerous effects of using kerosene tanker to load groundnut oil, practice of using potassium bromate to bake bread, use of Azo-dyes in palm oil which causes cancer.
The DG also identified using of sniper to preserve any type of food or to keep flies away from meat, formalin on food and wrong use of pesticides and insecticides as other dangers.
She said, “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.
“NAFDAC is keen on protecting Nigerians against deleterious effects of unwholesome food, falsified medical products, harmful cosmetics, poor water and other substandard regulated products”
Mrs Adeyeye stated that the campaign will contribute significantly to Federal Government’s concerted efforts to alert the public about inherent dangers of intake and use of those spurious regulated products..