According to viral reports, pregnant women in Ghana, are allegedly taking pills to bleach their unborn babies from dark to light… This is due to the general fact that most Ghanaian babies are born dark.
The pills work by creating chemical reactions that reduce the secretion of hormones that darken the skin of the child, making them light-skinned while they are still in the womb.
One of the drugs in question, Glutathione is one of the most talked-about supplements in the healthcare industry. However, mothers have begun manipulating its side effects to alter the complexion of their unborn babies.
Medical experts however says the drug use is illegal, as it can cause birth defects, including damage to the baby’s limb and internal organs.
Ghana‘s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says using these pills for this purpose is dangerous, adding it wants “the general public to know that no product has been approved by the FDA in the form of a tablet to lighten the skin of the unborn child”.
“The use of these drugs has gone to an alarming stage; it is ignorance that is making people do so,” the FDA’s head of cosmetics and household chemicals, Emmanuel Nkrumah, said at a media-sensitisation workshop on unapproved bleaching pills and products.
“[The only things] that you take orally should be food, toothpaste and mouthwash, and not bleaching pills,” Nkrumah said.
The practice is growing in Ghana, according to the FDA, with pills often smuggled into the country inside luggage at airports in large quantities.
Although comprehensive data has not yet been gathered, the body says market surveillance and stakeholder activity have helped to reveal the trend among women crosses socio-economic divides.
Security agencies and police are working together to arrest and prosecute companies and individuals in possession of the illegal tablets.
In Nigeria, skin bleaching creams are the fad. The practice is so common that there are grades, depending on the financial capacity of the interested party.
In Ghana, the case is similar. A number of the country’s celebrities, quite like Nigeria, have been accused of bleaching their skin over time.