Coming clean on his illness for the first time, Marcaim MLA Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar on Wednesday said that he was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease claiming that eating of artificially ripened fruits could be one of the reasons for the diagnosis.
“I am giving my own example: during my routine health check-up in Chennai, a small knot was detected in my liver, and my brother noted it. He asked me to cancel all my prior commitments… we went to Mumbai where doctors confirmed that I had tumor in the liver,” Dhavalikar revealed while speaking during the demands, which also pertained to health services.
“After a detailed medical examination by specialist doctors it was revealed that
I had ‘liver cirrhosis’,” he said, illustrating his own case as how a person can have such a disease even if he or she eschews alcohol, tobacco, and non-vegetarian food.
“I want to know whether checks are being conducted by the food and drugs administration on fruits. As per my knowledge, outer surface of the fruits turns black as they are dipped in carbide which is used as preservatives….,” he said.
He said that surgery to treat cancer is out of the reach of the common man, adding that any kind of liver surgery will not cost less than Rs 25 lakh.
Benaulim MLA Churchill Alemao claimed that cancer has caught up with
Goans as they have been eating formalin-laced fish for the last 40 years.
In the last 17 months, a total of 1072 cancer cases have been detected in the state, Alemao said.
“If 10 people die every day then eight of them die due to cancer. I request the government to expedite the work to set up the Export Inspection Agency laboratory in Margao, and ensure that not only fish samples but also fruits and vegetables are regularly checked,” he demanded.
Veering the discussion towards the formalin controversy, Alemao sought reinstatement of Iva Fernandes as South Goa designated officer of the FDA.
A year after Fernandes ‘confirmed’ the presence of ‘formalin’ in the fish imported from the neighbouring states, she was eased out by the health department without citing any reason for her removal.
St Andre MLA Francisco Silveira urged the government to reinstate Fernandes.
“We are also fishermen, and we know how fish consignments are transported. Cancer cases have risen in the state due to the use of chemicals for food preservation. The fear of formalin should be allayed by conducting tests in local markets,” he said.
Demanding that the government should absorb private hearse vans into the government scheme, the St Andre MLA said, “The government has started a free hearse van service at the Goa Medical College by taking onboard GVK EMRI 108. I urge the Health Minister to absorb the private operators who are in the business for the last 30 years.”