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    Friday, November 16, 2018-4:58:26P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Advocates warn about dangers of betel-nut chewing

AN advocate from Guam and her daughter were on Saipan, Friday, to talk about possible community service partnerships with CNMI women, and new information about the ill effects of betel-nut chewing.

Carmen Ulloa-Kasperbauer and her daughter Caressa Kasperbauer met with first lady Diann Tudela Torres, Office of Women’s Affairs staff led by Special Assistant Dolores Drew, outreach coordinators Pat Mareham and Piding Sablan, former Rep. Felicidad Ogumoro as well as local health officials and advocates.

Carmen Ulloa Kasperbauer and daughter Caressa Kasperbauer pose with first lady Diann Torres, Commonwealth Cancer Association and other health advocates, Women’s Affairs Office officials and staff on Friday.  Photo by Cherrie Anne E. VillahermosaCarmen Ulloa Kasperbauer and daughter Caressa Kasperbauer pose with first lady Diann Torres, Commonwealth Cancer Association and other health advocates, Women’s Affairs Office officials and staff on Friday. Photo by Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

Ulloa-Kasperbauer is the director of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Guam-Micronesia Mission, Women’s Ministries Department.

She and her daughter discussed a possible partnership with the CNMI Women’s Affairs Office, and shared the outreach missions they conduct on Guam and throughout Micronesia to support women in different aspects of their lives.

Community health issues, including betel-nut chewing, were discussed during the meeting on Friday.

Caressa Kasperbauer talked about the adverse effects of chewing betel nut.

She recently graduated from Pacific Union College in northern California with a bachelor of science degree in business management for medical professionals with a minor in chemistry and an associate’s degree in health science.

Caressa Kasperbauer said she chose to be active in promoting awareness regarding betel nut because it hurts her to see people who are still chewing betel nut despite its well-known adverse effects.

She said her research showed that chewing betel nut can also lead to a heart attack or stroke.

“When I went to school, I had this opportunity to do research on betel nut because it is something that many people not just from Guam but all over Micronesia chew. It’s destructive to the body, and many don’t know the danger of it.  So after my graduation, I asked my mom if I could go with her on her mission to do a presentation on betel nut and its serious effects on our health,” she said in an interview.

First lady Diann Torres said the information provided by Caressa Kasperbauer should be shared with the community.

“We are all familiar with oral cancer and how betel-nut chewing can cause it, but not many of us are  aware that the ingredients in betel nut affect our blood system. This information should be shared with the community and especially with our children,” Mrs. Torres said.

Doris Drew, a special assistant in the Women’s Affairs Office, said she met Carmen Ulloa-Kasperbauer on Guam and invited her and her daughter to come to Saipan.

“We want to partner with them in launching an information campaign about betel nut. We want  people, especially our kids, to stop chewing betel nut. We have information that some kids in school are already chewing, so we want them to be aware of the health risks. It would be a good idea to have Carmen and her daughter talk with our students. And as former Rep. Felicidad Ogumoro has said, we also need to work with other agencies like the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. so that this kind of information is shared with the entire community.”