NAFDAC warns on dangers of patronising hawkers
Director General (DG), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, has restated warning on the dangers of buying medicines from hawkers.
She made this known, yesterday, in Alausa, Lagos, at a sensitisation programme organised by NAFDAC.
Represented by the Director Ports Inspection NAFDAC, Prof. Samson Adebayo, the DG stated that the programme intends to address the following public health challenges which include dangers of buying medicines from hawkers, abuse of codeine and self-medication especially among youths, the dangerous effects of using Kerosene tanker to load groundnut oil, the dangerous practice of using potassium bromate to bake bread, use of azo-dyes in palm oil which causes cancer, dangers of using sniper to preserve any type of food or to keep flies away from meat, dangers of transfat and consumption of excessive oil, use of formalin on food and its associated health hazards, low level of exclusive breastfeeding practice by lactating mothers and its associated health hazards, dangers of wrong use of pesticides and insecticides, wrong use of chemicals and its hazardous effects and the problem of antimicrobial resistance arising from animal meat among others.
Speaking further she explained that the key objective of the sensitization programme was to intensify and expand the scope of our informal and formal behaviour 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.
She noted that it is common knowledge that Nigeria has a preponderant share of the global problem of falsified medical products and unwholesome food.
Adeyeye disclosed that the advent of the COVID-19 Pandemic has aggravated the problem with the challenge posed by substandard and falsified Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). The Sensitization campaigns will therefore contribute significantly to the Federal Government’s concerted efforts to inform, sensitize, educate and alert the public about the inherent dangers of intake and use of those spurious regulated products.
She said: “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”.
“I am pleased to inform you that the Mass Media, Vibrant Youth Organisations and Civil Societies in the pilot states will be in the forefront of the Sensitization campaigns. The target audiences are Market Women and Men, Road Transport Workers and Employers, Community Youth Organisations and Students.
We have engaged the services of MMCC as project Consultant to drive the sensitization campaigns and it is gratifying to note that the campaign materials are ready to be deployed on the field”.
“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”.
“It is important to note that 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”.