Health Society & Culture

Dr Malik slams health ministry for promoting a carcinogen at ministry event

Areca nuts served at health ministry event
  • Serving areca nuts at a health ministry event is insulting and irresponsible – Dr Malik
  • The Ministry’s action is disrespectful to everyone who is working to control the spread of NCD’s including their inherent HPA colleagues

Dr Abdul Malik has slammed the Ministry of Health for serving areca nuts in a ceremony held in commemoration of world health day.

An awarding ceremony had been held on Saturday morning in Alif Dhaalu atoll Mahibadhoo island to award leading figures in the health sector of the Maldives and Dr Malik had on Sunday morning stressed on the matter that areca nuts had been served at the ceremony, in a tweet he had posted from his official Twitter account.

According to his tweet, serving areca nuts, a carcinogen as classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO) at an event hosted by the Ministry of Health is ‘irresponsible and insulting”.

A carcinogen is defined as a substance that is prone to cause cancer.

His tweet further reads that the Ministry’s action is disrespectful to everyone who is working to control the spread of noncommunicable diseases or NCD’s and those raising awareness on the issue, including their inherent, Health Protection Agency (HPA) colleagues.

Malik goes on to say that this action is completely adverse to their policy on practicing to battle noncommunicable diseases under OK25by25, a nonpartisan coalition of organizations centralized on raising early childhood well-being to the top 25 states by 2025.

Dr Malik is the Co-founder of Cancer Society of the Maldives and Chairman and one of the Co-founders at Maldives NCD Alliance.

While areca nuts are specified as a substance that promotes the breakout of many internal diseases, the Center for Disease Control in the USA had issued a health caution against the use of areca nuts.

According to the caution, areca nuts trigger cancer cells, leading to oral and oesophageal cancer, thickening and hardening of the basal mucosa, the tissue that lines the inside of the mouth and also leads to infertility as well.

Other diseases that are caused by the excessive use of areca nuts include obesity, heart diseases, diabetics, ovarian cancer among several others.

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