The National, Thursday October 24th, 2013
MORE than 90% of mouth cancer patients treated in Port Moresby chew betel nuts, a Health Department statement says.
The department is conducting an awareness programme on betel nut chewing tomorrow for Port Moresby residents at Tabari Place, Boroko.
The department is supporting the betel nut ban enforced by the National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop.
“More than 90% of mouth cancer patients seen at the Port Moresby General Hospital oral surgery clinic are associated with betel nut chewing,” a statement from the department said.
“Prolonged betel nut chewing will reduce the immunity to fight tuberculosis or HIV, thus, increases the risk of developing these diseases.”
The department’s promotions team said this would be the first public health awareness it was organising. It will run from noon to 2pm.
“Medical specialists will emphasise on the danger of cancer, mouth diseases with other underlying medical conditions that result from betel nut chewing,” the statement said.
“The event will allow individuals to interact directly with medical specialists if they wish to ask questions on what they need to understand.”
Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Michael Malabag and Health Secretary Pascoe Kase are expected to address the event.