The National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control ( NAFDAC) has alerted the public on the dangers of drug hawking as well as use of calcium carbide to ripen fruits prevalent in many fruit markets across Nigeria .
Speaking in Uyo , Akwa Ibom state capital on Thursday during the South-South zonal media sensitization workshop on Dangers of Drug Hawking And Ripening Fruits with calcium carbide, the Director General of NAFDAC Prof Moji Christiana Adeyeye said fruit ripening with chemicals have caused diseases to many Nigerians.
Adeyeye who was represented by Director Chemical Evaluation and Research Dr Leonard Omokpariola urged fruit sellers to discontinue the practice of using chemicals for fruits ripening due to its health related dangers arising from it.
“There have been clarion calls by well-meaning Nigerians on the need to take stringent regulatory actions to stem the dangerous tide of Drug Hawking and Ripening of Fruits with Calcium Carbide.
“In addition, several national dailies and non-governmental organizations have raised concerns on the looming danger and health implication of these two nefarious activities by certain unpatriotic and unscrupulous citizens in our country. ”
Adeyeye said NAFDAC commenced some sensitization exercise through the media since 2019 using different outlets such as enforcement through intelligence and raids in fruits markets where violative products were seized and destroyed.
She disclosed that the sensitization workshop was in fulfilment of her promise to sustain and strengthen NAFDAC’s existing collaboration with Health Journalists in Nigeria towards mobilization, sensitization and training of Journalists to play a role in eradication of drugs hawking and ripening of fruits with chemicals.
“The flag–off for this sensitization workshop today is again a fulfilment of my promise to sustain and strengthen NAFDAC’s existing collaboration with Association of Health Journalists in Nigeria towards mobilizing, educating, sensitizing, and conscientize Nigerian Journalists to play frontline role in our concerted efforts to eradicate the menace of Drug Hawking and Ripening of Fruits with Calcium Carbide in Nigeria.”
Adeyeye said importers of fruits have checked to ensure that false fruits ripened through chemicals with its attendant health hazards are not brought into the country.
She therefore urged law enforcement agencies , consumers and health workers to step up the campaign against drug hawking and false fruits ripening to check terminal diseases among Nigerians.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has noticed the dangerous practice of sale and consumption of fruits artificially ripened with calcium carbide as well as illegal hawking of drugs in the open market.
” The menace of drug hawking poses serious challenge to Healthcare Delivery System in the country and this underscored NAFDAC’s resolute determination to totally eradicate the illicit trade.
“Many Drug Hawkers are knowingly or unknowingly merchants of Death who expose essential and Life Saving Medicines to the vagaries of inclement weather which degrade the active ingredients of the medicine and turn them to poisons thus endangering human lives.” she said
Experts who presented papers at the workshop listed diseases associated with ripening of fruits with calcium carbide to include cancer , hypo tension , burning sensation in the chest, eyes and stomach and outright death.
They warn Nigerians from consuming. such fruits to safe their lives from imminent danger to health.
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