Rwanda had done what many Nigerians have been clamouring for. They have banned all bleaching-creams and related agents.
While many countries continue to launch campaigns creating awareness about the dangers of bleaching, the Rwandan government has taken the bold step to ban all skin-whitening and bleaching products in the country. This is coming shortly after the president, Paul Kagame out-rightly condemned the use of the products in November, urging Rwanda’s ministry of health to take action.
In response to a Twitter user who voiced concern over the issue, he was quoted saying: “Quite unhealthy among other things. Includes use of prohibited chemicals," adding that the ministry of health look into it urgently
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. A while ago, the country had launched a campaign against the use of bleaching products, citing the health hazards as a major reason.
The country's Standards Board warned the public about the use of products that contain hydroquinone, one of the prohibited ingredients in ordinary commercial cosmetics.
According to reports, Rwandan police said they seized more than 5,000 banned bleaching products including lotions, oils, soaps, and sprays from beauty shops across the country in December 2018.
Rwanda's ban on bleaching products comes after Ghana implemented a ban on the skin lightening creams in 2017, following Ivory Coast's ban in 2015. According to a report by the World Health Organization, around 25% of women in Mali, and 59% in Togo regularly use skin-lightening products.
However, the highest in the world remains Nigeria where 77% of women use one form of the product or the other.