KARACHI (PPI) - The use of sweet betelnut (Chalia) manufactured with hazardous chemicals, results growing cancers, especially mouth cancers, and now such cancers are also found in kids which is an alarming development, said former Director of National Child Health Institute (NICH) and President Child Aid Association Prof. Nizam-ul-Hassan. Talking to PPI Prof. Hassan expressed that parents usually do not refrain their children from use of betel nut and other tobacco-based products like Gutika, which make them addicted, and also result in mouth cancer. He said consumption of tobacco and tobacco-based products also led to stomach ulcer, anemia, loss of appetite and other diseases. He regretted now it has become popular trend in our society especially amongst youths to consume tobacco, tobacco-related products and sweet betelnut which cause cancers, and resultant painful deaths in many cases, he added. Prof Hassan further said annually thousands of people including children fell ill due to betelnut consumption. He cited a recent incident in which a 11-year old girl from Thatta, Momal died due to tongue cancer due to use of sweet betelnut. He said people are unaware and less educated about the hazards of use of betelnuts, and tobacco-related products. He revealed that every day more than 5 children are brought to hospitals, with their windpipe blocked with Chalia, adding while some deaths occur as these kids are brought to hospitals. He said emergency surgeries in such cases are sometimes risky too. He said people buy tobacco-based products and Chalia because it is affordable for them, but the consequences of their consumption are very serious. He recalled that every year tobacco is being imported from neighbouring countries, which is largely affecting health of poor people. He said selling of tobacco-based products and Chalia is common in every education institutions. However, he said it is the fundamental responsibility of teachers and parents to spread awareness among students and children regarding health hazards of betelnut consumption, he added . To a question, Prof. Hassan told that previous year more than 550 children were brought to the National Institute of Child Health suffering from blood cancer, mouth Cancer, lungs cancer and other cancers. He said about 40 cases are being registering in cancer OPD of the hospital on daily basis. He said currently there are 14 beds in the children cancer unit which needs to be extended. He said children suffering from various cancers are being treated free of cost by them, which includes free test while the annual expenditure of the Child Aid Association in this regard is more than Rs30 million. Prof. Nizam-ul-Hassan urged that media to play its due role to aware masses about the spread of cancer due to use of Chalia and other tobacco-based products. He requested the parents to restrain their children for consumption of Chaila and other tobacco related stuff.