The National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC) has escalated its public awareness campaign against drug hawking and the harmful use of calcium carbide for fruit ripening in Awka, emphasizing the significant health risks associated with these practices.
In a workshop aimed at journalists from the South East zone, esteemed heads of various NAFDAC departments presented papers on these pressing issues. The initiative, according to NAFDAC’s Director General, Prof Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, was a response to the increasing number of Nigerians calling for stricter regulatory measures to curb these harmful practices.
Since 2019, NAFDAC has initiated several measures, such as public education through diverse media channels and enforcement in fruit markets through intelligence and raids, leading to the seizure and destruction of compromised products.
Dr. Leonard Omokpariola, Director of Chemical Evaluation and Research, highlighted the risks associated with using calcium carbide for fruit ripening, linking this practice to numerous cases of kidney failure. The agency also stressed the dangers of purchasing drugs from roadside vendors, a practice that has unfortunately persisted.
The workshop also saw presentations on the issue of drug hawking in Nigeria, good distribution practices to prevent the circulation of substandard falsified medicines, and the influence of mass media campaigns on health behavior change.
Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, Director of Public Affairs, emphasized the strategic role of journalists in this campaign, as NAFDAC’s staff of under 3000 cannot reach out to over 200 million Nigerians.
IMAGE: The Guardian