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Areca Nut and Betel Quid (Basic)

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Areca nut and betel quid chewing are dangerous behaviours that are prevalent in many parts of the Asia-Pacific. In the Pacific, this is especially noted in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. People who chew areca nut and betel quid form a dependence on it that is comparable to tobacco use. However, the extent of areca nut and betel quid use as a public health problem is not widely known by the public or even among users. Areca nut and betel quid use is known to contribute to the development of many serious diseases such as cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular disease among others. There are negative effects on the development of the fetus of pregnant women who chew areca nut or betel quid. The similarities between the pharmacological effects of areca nut chewing and tobacco provide opportunities for areca nut/betel quid cessation intervention. This course provides basic information about areca nut and betel quid, the health effects and public health interventions that may reduce the problem of areca nut and betel quid chewing.

Key Features of the Course


After completing this online betel nut course, students will be able to:

  • Describe areca nut and betel quid
  • Understand ways areca nut/betel quid is used in the Pacific
  • Describe the adverse health effects of areca nut/betel quid nut chewing
  • Identify potential public health strategies to reduce areca nut/betel quid use


Modules

Areca nut and betel quid chewing are dangerous behaviours that are prevalent in many parts of the Asia-Pacific. In the Pacific, this is especially noted in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. People who chew areca nut and betel quid form a dependence on it that is comparable to tobacco use. However, the extent of areca nut and betel quid use as a public health problem is not widely known by the public or even among users. Areca nut and betel quid use is known to contribute to the development of many serious diseases such as cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular disease among others. There are negative effects on the development of the fetus of pregnant women who chew areca nut or betel quid. The similarities between the pharmacological effects of areca nut chewing and tobacco provide opportunities for areca nut/betel quid cessation intervention. This course provides basic information about areca nut and betel quid, the health effects and public health interventions that may reduce the problem of areca nut and betel quid chewing.
Module 1 provides a brief introduction to the social and epidemiological aspects of areca nut and betel quid chewing. It focuses on what areca nut and betel quid are, how it is used and which Pacific populations chew areca nut. By the end of the module, you should have an understanding of the different ingredients used in betel quid, the epidemiology of areca nut use and the reasons it is chewed in the Pacific.
Areca nut and betel quid chewing give rise to a number of negative health consequences. This module will explain how arecoline, the major active component of areca nut leads to precancerous lesions of the oral cavity. Furthermore, there will be examples of public health interventions that have been used to reduce areca nut/betel quid use in the Pacific. There will be more detail about oral health effects in Areca Nut and Betel Quid Course 2 (Advanced).
Module 3 explores systemic conditions that are associated with areca nut and betel quid chewing, such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and chronic kidney disease. In addition to these, areca nut/betel quid chewing is associated with an increased chance of developing infectious diseases as well as giving birth to low birth weight babies among women chewing areca nut/betel quid. This module will also explain how areca nut/betel quid users develop dependence and describes other types of cancers to which areca nut is linked.
This module focuses on primary prevention methods that can protect and prevent populations from the dangers of areca nut/betel quid chewing. The WHO platform for Action for the Control of Areca Nut/Betel Quid and Tobacco use as well as the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are presented to suggest possible public health interventions to reduce betel nut use. Pacific examples of policies to curb areca nut/betel quid chewing are also described.
Important: To access your course certificate, you must complete the Course Evaluation and Survey Forms. Click on the following links to provide your feedback.

How It Works

Study Material

This self-paced course has been designed in a manner that enhances understanding of the core concepts and provides easy to access learning materials. The course uses a range of study material such as pre-recorded videos, lecture slides, quizzes and assignments, and is developed by a team of dedicated health education experts.

Getting Help

Connect with other students through the discussion forum, where you can easily discuss the course or debate the ideas. Need more help? Your instructors are also available online to answer any questions you might have.

Extend Your Career with a Verified Certificate

POLHN self-paced courses are recognised by Pacific Ministries of Health. Once you have successfully completed the course, you will receive an official certificate. This certificate can be used for credit to gain CPD points.

Course Questions & Answers

Course Summary

Course code: ANBQ-B
Average length: 30 minutes
Effort: 2 hours
Number of modules: 04
Institution: World Health Organisation
Subject: Areca Nut and Betel Quid
Language: English
Mode: Self-paced
Status: Ongoing

Course Author

Pacific NCDs and Health Through the Life Course

Division of Pacific Technical Support

World Health Organisation | Division of Pacific Technical Support | Suva, Fiji

POLHN has dedicated public health professionals in its DPS research team who have decade long experiences in Health Security and Emergencies, NCDs and Health Through the Life course, and Health Systems.

Course Focal Point

Name:
Pacific NCDs and Health Through the Life Course

Technical Support

Name:
POLHN IT Support Team

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