29 Oct 2014

Substance ban at Solomon's hospital

3:46 pm on 29 October 2014

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Health has banned smoking, drinking and betel nut chewing, at the National Referral Hospital and its own Ministry buildings.

The Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry says the ban is a step towards protecting the community, employees and visitors from the dangers of these substances.

Dr Tenneth Dalipanda says betel nut is the leading cause of oral cancer in Solomon Islands and there is no safe level of tobacco smoke exposure.

He says drinking alcohol such as Kwaso can lead to chronic diseases and an increased risk of injuries.

The World Health Organisation head in Solomon Islands, Dr Audrey Aumua, says she commends the Ministry's move and says the use of tobacco, alcohol and betel nut should not be seen as normal.