Pesticide use blamed for rising number of cancer patients

Dhankuta, April 29

Overuse of pesticides and harmful chemicals in fruits and vegetables has posed serious risk to health in Dhankuta.

Twelve persons were diagnosed with cancer at a five-day free health camp organised by Nepal Cancer Relief Society, Bhaktapur, in the district recently. Besides, around 100 others are suspected to be suffering from cancer.

The health camp was organised in coordination with Dhankuta District Hospital.

“Symptoms of cancer have been seen in around 100 persons, and we have called all of them for detailed check-up at Bhaktapur Cancer hospital,” said Dr Prabhu Shah, adding that the possible reason behind increasing number of cancer patients in the district was excessive use of pesticides in farm products.

According to NCRS Chief Administrative Officer Suresh Sapkota, a total of 1,650 people had undergone preliminary check-up at the camp.

NCRS Central Chair Ishwor Shrestha also attributed overuse of pesticides and chemicals in fruits and vegetables to increasing number of cancer patients in the districts.

“The government has categorised pesticides into three categories and banned some of them, but farmers are mostly found using the banned pesticides for quick results,” Shrestha said, adding that lack of awareness about proper use of pesticides also had something to do with such practice.

“The number of cancer patients might increase in the districts as many women hesitate to go for health check-up due to the perceived stigma related to the disease,” said Dr Ushabadhe Shrestha.

Meanwhile, the team from NCRS Bhaktapur  also conducted awareness programme against cancer and tobacco use. Some 1,150 persons, including army personnel from Salleri-based Nepali Army Barakh Battalion and students, participated in the programme.