Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) appreciates Punjab Government for banning sale and consumption of Chalia in the province. Violators will be punished after 31st January, 2018. It was need of the time to take such steps because the number of cases of oral cancer and Sub-mucous Fibrosis (SMF) has been increasing geometrically in Pakistan. PMA believes that all other provinces should also follow this exemplary step and immediately impose ban on Chalia.
Sub-mucous Fibrosis is very common in teen agers particularly school and college going students. This is non-treatable diseases in which the Mucosa of the oral cavity is being Fibrosed resulting in the limitation of the opening of the mouth and severe burning in mouth.
Pakistan Medical Association has been continuously raising its voice for the prevention of oral cancer and Sub-mucous Fibrosis. A beetle nut (Chalia) is the main cause of oral cancer and Sub-mucous Fibrosis. About 122 brands of Chalia (Sweet Supari) are easily available everywhere, which is prepared by artificial colour and artificial sugar. It is proven that artificial colour is a carcinogen (Cancer). The Gutka is a more hazardous item freely available and prepared by Chalia and other hazardous chemicals.
It is very important to note that Chalia is not growing in Pakistan, but the fungal infected Chalia is being imported. Any fungal infected food eaten for a long time can cause liver cancer. It is also proven clinically that juice of the good quality Chalia is carcinogen and when it is mixed with other hazardous items, it becomes more dangerous for human health.
With the appreciation to the Punjab Government Pakistan Medical Association demands for the strict implementation of this ban. PMA once again demands that ban on Import of all forms of Chilia should also be imposed, which will definitely reduce the number of cases of oral cancer/ Sub- mucous Fibrosis, cancer of esophagus and stomach.
Dr. S.M.Qaisar Sajjad
Pakistan Medical Association (Centre)