The National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on Tuesday in Sokoto flagged – off a nationwide sensitization campaign to combat falsified medical products and unwholesome food.
Speaking at the event, Director – General (DG) of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, said it was common knowledge that Nigeria had a huge share of the global problem of falsified medical products and unwholesome food.
“The advent of COVID-19 Pandemic has aggravated the problem with the challenge posed by substandard and falsified Personal Protective Equipment.
“The sensitization campaigns will therefore contribute significantly to Federal Government’s concerted efforts to inform and alert the public on inherent dangers of using those spurious regulated products,” Adeyeye said.
Represented by Mr Dauda Gimba, Director, North West Zone, Kaduna, the DG explained that the public awareness campaign was one of the veritable regulatory mechanisms put in place by NAFDAC to promote and protect health of the people.
“A well informed, sensitized and educated citizenry is the bedrock of effective regulation.
“This is why today’s event is another major milestone in our bid to protect Nigerians against the deleterious effects of unwholesome food, falsified medical products, harmful cosmetics, poor water and other substandard regulated products.
“The key objective of this sensitization programme is to intensify and expand the scope of our informal and formal behavioural change.
“This is 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.
“The campaign themes are multifaceted with clear educative messages aimed at arousing the consciousness of the public about the various infractions that impact negatively on our healthcare delivery system,” Adeyeye said.
She mentioned some of the campaign themes to include, Dangers of buying medicines from hawkers, Abuse of Codeine and self-medication especially among youths; and the dangerous effects of using Kerosene tanker to load groundnut oil.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, represented by the District Head of Gagi, lauded the Agency for diligently protecting the lives of Nigerians.
Abubakar, who described the campaign as timely and apt, also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the country’s transformation at all levels.
The Sultan pledged the sustained support of traditional institutions to ensure the success of the Agency’s activities .
The highlight of the event was a road show to Sokoto central and old markets, central motor park and other major streets in the metropolis.
Breastfeeding provides food security for infants – expert
A dietitian, Mrs Motunrayo Oduneye, says breastfeeding is the most affordable way to provide food security for infants and children with the hike in food prices.
Oduneye, an Assistant Chief Dietitian, University College Hospital, Ibadan, made the assertion on Tuesday in Ibadan while speaking with our Correspondent.
She said breastfeeding fulfills food security criteria by providing infants access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs.
“Breastfeeding is a natural and low cost way of feeding babies and children.
“It is affordable for everyone and does not burden household budget compared to artificial feeding, breastfeeding contributes to poverty reduction.
“The hike in food prices should be an opportunity for mothers to embrace exclusive breastfeeding.
“It helps mothers to save money to buy nutritious food for themselves rather than using the money to buy expensive formula feeds,” she said.
Oduneye who highlighted some benefits of breastfeeding, said that exclusive breastfeeding and continued breastfeeding for two years and beyond provide high quality nutrients.
“Breastfeeding can help prevent hunger, undernutrition and obesity.
“Breastfed babies have lower risk of acquiring urinary tract infections.
“Breastfeeding also helps infants to produce higher levels of antibodies in response to childhood immunisations.
Breastfeeding is the best way to increase infant survival,” she said.
The dietitian called for increased awareness on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life.
She said that the promotion of breastfeeding was the best way to increase food security and decrease demand on inadequate, unreliable and expensive artificial baby milk.