MCA to Enforce Ban of Skin Bleaching Products Hazardous to Health

151

By Nelson Manneh

The Medicines Control Agency (MCA) has vowed to enforce the regulation on certain products including some skin bleaching products within the Gambian market.

A press release it issued on Saturday, 24 February 2024 warned sternly against the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, use, advertisements and promotion of all medicinal, herbal, cosmetics, medical devices and household chemical substances without approval from MCA.

It stated:

“The Medicines and Related Products Act, 2014, established the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) with the mandate to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution (whole and retail), use, control of advertisements and promotion of medicines and related products with respect to ensure their quality, safety and efficacy.”

Related products include herbal medicinal products, cosmetics, medical devices and household chemical substances. It is also a legal requirement for all medicines and related products to be registered or listed prior to importation, exportation, distribution, use, advertisement and promotion.

‘‘In the light of the above, the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution (whole and retail), use, advertisements and promotion of all medicinal, herbal, cosmetics, medical devices and household chemical substances without the approval of MCA, is illegal and therefore, must be stopped with immediate effect,” the statement reveals.

It added: “The MCA also wish to inform the General public of the ban of the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution (wholesale and retail), use, advertisements and promotion of cosmetics used as skin bleaching or skin lightening products containing hydroquinone or mercury and its compounds in the Gambian market with immediate effect. “The MCA would therefore like to advise and solicit the support of the general public to desist from the use of these products, because they contain harmful substances that are dangerous to health and therefore unsafe for use.”

According to the MCA, they will continue to ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of all medicines and related products within the Gambian market.

Essa Marenah, the Executive Director of the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) who confirmed the enforcement of this regulation and ban on skin bleaching products in the Gambian market, said the agency is not banning all skin lightening products.

“There are some skin bleaching products within the Gambian market and they are very hazardous to our health. Some of these products include, herbal medicinal products, cosmetics, medical devices and household chemical substances,” he said, adding that it is a legal requirement for all medicines and related products to be registered or listed prior to importation, distribution, use, advertisement and promotion within the country.

“The manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, use, advertisements and promotion of all medicines, herbal medicinal products, cosmetics, medical devices and household chemical substances without the approval of MCA is illegal and therefore, must be stopped with immediate effect,” he noted.