The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health in conjunction with The University of KwaZulu-Natal and other stakeholders is set to protest and enlighten the general public and as well launch a campaign to create awareness about the dangers of using illegal skin bleaching products. with a march in Durban on Friday.The march will take place at Berea Christian Centre, Durban.
The department of health said they want to “stop the this epidemic which is fast becoming a burden on public health.”
“This initiative will take place at a time whereby the usage of these illegal and dangerous skin bleaching products has become rife, particularly among Black and Indian communities,” the department said.
To speak at the protest are The KZN MEC for Health Sibongiseni Dhlomo ,other guest speakers and affected patients. The march will start from the Berea Christian Centre at 12 pm and will end at the Gugu Dlamini Park.
The study, published recently in the journal Clinical and Experimental Dermatology calls for tighter import regulations and random testing to protect consumers.
There is a nationwide ban on the sale of over-the-counter cosmetic products containing ingredients such as mercury, topical steroids and hydroquinone. But a study by UCT shows an alarming trend in the composition of internationally manufactured skin lightening products available for sale in Cape Town.
Professor Nonhlanhla Khumalo, head of dermatology at UCT and Groote Schuur Hospital said, : “Not only did almost 80% of the products tested contain illegal or banned ingredients, we discovered that many products combined more than one illegal ingredient.”