The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) conducted an informative media workshop in Awka, Anambra state, focusing on the perils of drug hawking and the use of calcium carbide for fruit ripening. The workshop brought together health journalists from the South East states and Delta state, aiming to raise awareness about the health risks posed by these practices.
During the event, Dr. Leonard Omokpariola, representing Prof. Moji Adeyeye, the Director General of NAFDAC, highlighted the agency’s ongoing efforts to combat drug hawking and the unsafe ripening of fruits using calcium carbide. He commended the late Prof. Dora Akunyili for her contributions to NAFDAC’s advancements. The workshop emphasized NAFDAC’s mission to protect Nigerians from consuming harmful substances that can lead to severe health issues.
Mr. Collins Ogedengbe, Acting Director of NAFDAC’s South East Zone, discussed the agency’s role in regulating the production, distribution, and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, and chemicals, ensuring the availability of safe and high-quality products.
Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, Director of Public Affairs at NAFDAC, underscored the critical role of the media in eradicating drug hawking and unsafe fruit ripening practices. He praised the media’s past collaboration and training efforts with NAFDAC and called for continued support in educating the public.
Lectures covered topics including the dangers of artificial fruit ripening, the prevalence of drug hawking in Nigeria, and the impact of mass media campaigns on health behavior. The workshop was attended by notable figures, including Mr. Hassan Zaggi, President of the Association of Health Journalists of Nigeria, Dr. Emeka Odogwu, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Anambra State chapter, representatives from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, National Youth Service Corps, and other dignitaries. The Anambra state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Afam Obidike, expressed gratitude for NAFDAC’s collaboration in tackling the challenges of drug hawking and unsafe fruit ripening.