It was startling to see when we first arrived.  Drops of bright red are found all over the ground at the markets and in town.  It comes from chewing betel nut.  The bright red stains the user’s mouth and leaves red splotches on the ground from spit.  It gives the person a high and a sense of euphoria.  It also causes mouth and throat cancer.  This article by the BBC describes the growing problem of betel nut use in Papua New Guinea.  It’s not uncommon to see young kids with lips and teeth stained red from use.  The soaring use along with limited medical care available means the incident of oral cancers will continue to increase.  Please pray for the staff as we treat patients with this cancer and pray that as people find freedom in a relationship with Christ, that they will also be freed from the addiction to buai.

 

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