Cameroon’s Minister of Health, Manaouda Malachie, has denounced having received death threats, after he announced last week Friday a ban on skin whitening products.
“You can’t imagine the number of phone calls and threats I have received since these press releases came out,” Malachie said in an interview this weekend for local television, echoed by news portal RFI Afrique.
Among the products that have been banned was a drink that had become popular, which authorities warned could cause serious health problems.
“People are coming to do business with something that is not needed,” said Malachie, who questioned those who seek to do business at the expense of the welfare of the population. “We have to keep public health in mind as a goal,” he said.
Among the banned products is that of a company whose owner works in the government. It is Nourane Fotsing, founder of the cosmetics brand Nourishka and deputy in the National Assembly for the Littoral region, who has denied that they are products harmful to health.
At least five companies market skin whitening products in Cameroon, which have become very popular in several countries on the African continent, mainly because of the beauty canons promoted by Western media and advertising.