NAFDAC cautions against use of cancer-causing azo dyes, sniper as preservation
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has cautioned against the use of Azo dyes, which cause cancer in palm oil and the dangers in using Sniper to preserve any type of food or keep flies away from meat. The agency, which warned Nigerians on the dangers of buying medicines from hawkers, stressed urged Nigerians to only buy medicines from licensed pharmacies and medicine stores.
Speaking at a drug sensitisation programme against fake drugs, organised by the agency in Abuja, Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, reminded Nigerians of the dangers in wrong use of pesticides and insecticides, wrong use of chemicals and their hazardous effects and the use of formalin on food and its associated health hazards.
The NAFDAC boss, who noted that the health of Nigerians is important to the agency, blamed influx and prevalence of substandard products in the country to absence of a regulatory body, such as NAFDAC at the various ports of entry.
Adeyeye said the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated the challenge posed by substandard and falsified Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), adding that the sensitisation campaigns would contribute significantly to Federal Government’s concerted efforts to inform, sensitise, educate and alert the public about inherent dangers of intake and use of the unregulated products.
She said: “We are using a multifaceted approach to reduce substandard and falsified medicine in the country. The Federal Government has approved a device that can be used to know whether a medicine is falsified or not. And we are going through the process of procurement, to make that available throughout Nigeria.”
The NAFDAC DG said the sensitisation campaign was targeted at market women and men, road transport workers and employers, as well as community youth groups. “It is our expectations that at the end of the campaign, participants and target audience will become dependable partners of NAFDAC and be in the forefront of the campaigns, by disseminating the information and messages to people at the grassroots.”
Adeyeye said the country has 17 per cent prevalence rate of substandard and falsified drugs. She, however, explained that the survey is no longer current, as it was done early last year before the outbreak of COVID-19.
She said: “… Actually, in terms of substandard and fake drugs, South West has the highest prevalent rate. In terms of states, Lagos has the highest and we are working on that to reduce it. The campaign themes are multifaceted with clear, concise, informative and educative messages, aimed at arousing the awareness and consciousness of the general public about the various infractions that impact negatively on our healthcare delivery system.”
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