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Friday, November 07, 2003

Dirty needles + unnecessary injections increasing health risks
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) approximately 75% of injections given in the developing world are given using re-used, unsterilised equipment which increase the risk of infection.

The re-use of needles is most common in south Asia, the Middle East + the western Pacific.

Often people in developing countries are also receiving too many injections for illnesses that can be treated with oral medication or no drugs at all.

The World Health Organisation estimates that about 16 billion injections are given in developing + transitional countries each year and as many as 70% are unnecessary.

Nearly 2% of all new HIV cases, or 96,000 people, are infected through unsafe injections, according to the WHO.

Dirty needles are also the most common cause of infection of hepatitis C, a potentially deadly liver disease, and account for 33% of new hepatitis B cases, another serious illness.

The WHO is recommending an increased emphasis on providing disposable needles, improving awareness of the risks associated with unsafe medical practices and the danger of healthcare helping to spread blood pathogens such as hepatitis B and C, HIV, absceses, septicaemia, malaria + haemorrhagic fevers.