The role of the nurse in the fight against the use of potassium bromate is to;
- Create more awareness on the health hazards of potassium bromate through health education of masses as well as organization of Public Enlightenment Campaigns in public places like hospitals, markets, churches, cinema halls etc, involving the media and public opinion leaders, but most importantly the Target Audience (Millers and Bakers).
- Nurses should sensitize various stakeholders on the adverse health consequences of prolonged consumption of bread with potassium bromate.
- The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria should collaborate in this matter with other stakeholders such as Bankers Association, Medical Council of Nigeria, Nigerian Pharmaceutical association, Community Leaders, church Organizations, Non-Governent Organizations (NGO’S), Government Agencies such as NAFDAC, Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) in order to achieve a holistic outcome.
- Forum in seminars, workshop, symposia and conferences should be conducted quarterly, bi-annually or otherwise at either Federal , State or Local Government level where health personnel, will educate the millers and bakers on the adverse effects of potassium bromate on health.
- A Joint Monitoring Patrol Team comprising of NAFDAC officials and health personnel that will monitor the activities of millers and bakers should be instituted so as to ensure strict compliance to NAFDAC regulations
- Public enlightenment should be vigorously pursued in both English and local Languages by NAFDAC and stakeholders to sensitize the consumers and members of the public on how to identify bakery products that contain potassium bromate.
- NAFDAC should specify standards in relation to the following qualification of persons or entrepreneurs that intend to run bakeries, staff strength of bakeries, environmental conditions (location, sanitary conditions of bakeries), technological input (modern bakery machines and gadgets acquired by bakeries), to ensure quality of baked products as well as avert any health consequence on consumers. In line with the above specified standard, any bakery that does not meet up should not be registered with NAFDAC.
- Other additives such as Ascorbic acid, L-cysteric hydrochloride, Butylate Hydroxuyanisole, Ascorbic Palmitate, Ascorbic stearate etc, recommended as alternative to potassium bromate should be used in the production of other products which potassium bromate was used for, so as to ensure its eradication in the country.
- Security agencies like customs and Excise, Immigration and other governmental agencies in charge of importation and exportation should ensure strict adherence on ban of potassium bromate into the country, by mounting security officers at the borders and ports.
- It is recommended strongly that non-governmental agencies, voluntary organizations, religious groups, philantrophists, good spirited individuals, social clubs, pressure groups etc should support NAFDAC in their efforts to abolish the use of potassium bromate for any purpose be it research, laboratory or industrial, since its carcinogenicity has been conformed.
CONCLUSION ON POTASSIUM BROMATE
Health is wealth, therefore, safe guarding public health and safety is of utmost importance. It therefore, becomes imperative that creation of awareness be made so as to enable people identify bakery products that contain potassium bromate, dissuade them from buying them, but persuade them to stick to bakery products that are “bromate free”