Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) appreciates Sindh Assembly for introducing bill in the house to ban manufacture, promotion and sale of Gutka and Mainpuri whose violator would be liable to imprisonment or a fine, or to both.
It was need of the time to make such laws because the number of cases of oral cancer and Sub-mucous Fibrosis (SMF) has been increasing geometrically in Pakistan. Sub-mucous Fibrosis is very common in ten 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. Chalia, Tobacco Smoking/Chewing, Sheesha, Toxic Fumes and Alcohol are the main causes of cancer. 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 this appreciation Pakistan Medical Association once again demands for the implementation of law and believes that ban on Import of all forms of Chalia will definitely reduce the number of cases of oral cancer/ Sub-,mucous Fibrosis
Dr. S.M.Qaisar Sajjad
Pakistan Medical Association (Centre)