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Pregnant women 'taking pills to bleach babies' skin'

ISSUE: A growing trend of pregnant women are taking pills to lighten the skin of their unborn babies (Photo credit: AFP)

THE FOOD and Drugs Authority (FDA), has warned women in Ghana against a growing trend of taking pills during pregnancy to lighten the skin of their unborn babies while they are still in the womb.

According to BBC Africa, medical experts say these illegal drugs can cause birth defects, including damage to limbs and internal organs.

FDA have said using Glutathione pills for this purpose is dangerous, adding that it wants the public to know that they have not approved any product in the form of a tablet to lighten the skin of the unborn child.

The FDA also reports that this practice is growing in the African country, with pills often smuggled into inside luggage in large quantities.

"The use of these drugs has gone to an alarming stage; it is ignorance that is making people do so," said the FDA's head of cosmetics and household chemicals, Emmanuel Nkrumah.

"[The only things] that you take orally should be food, toothpaste and mouthwash, and not bleaching pills," Nkrumah said.

Security agencies and the police are working together to arrest and prosecute companies and individuals in possession of the illegal drugs.

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