LAHORE - Paan, gutka, betel nuts and cigarettes are major contributing factors in oral cancer in the country.

This was stated by a renowned ENT specialist and Head of ENT unit II of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Prof Sami Mumtaz in an exclusive interview with APP here on Sunday.

He said nasal allergy, ear discharge, deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, vertigo and hearing loss were common diseases in our society.

About their reasons, he said, paan, gutka, betel nuts and cigarettes were contributing factors in voice box complications and oral cancer while cigarettes had 70 to 80 per cent contribution in all oral diseases.

He was of his views that cold drinks, hot food and excessive use of chilies in food might cause of throat and stomach problems.

Prof Sami mentioned that hearing loss in children was due to middle ear infection while throat infection, change in voices and tonsils were more prevalent in adults.

He said change in weather also caused allergy, including fungus allergy.

He elaborated that around 20 doctors of the ENT department in six days of a week at its OPDs provided healthcare to patients free of cost. The ENT department has been providing 50,000 to 60,000 patients healthcare per annum at its OPDs besides 45 all kinds of operation of major head and neck surgeries per week, including parotid, parapharyngeal space and endoscopic nasal surgeries.

200 posts of pharmacists vacant in city hospitals: Over 200 posts of pharmacists are vacant in different hospitals of the city though the process for data collection was initiated in 2012.

It was learnt from health sources that in 2006, the Punjab government had issued a notification in October, 2012 to establish a Pharmacy Department for collection of data of vacant posts of pharmacists.

As many as 80 posts in Lahore General Hospital, 35 in Punjab Institute of Cardiology, 24 in Services Hospital Lahore, 15 in Mayo hospital,18 in Ganga Ram Hospital and 18 posts were vacant in Jinnah Hospital Lahore besides other hospitals which are not teaching hospitals.

Around 45 institutions of pharmacists, including public and private, are working in the country while 28 were functioning in Punjab which have been producing around 2,700 pharmacists every year.