12m Pakistanis affected by unsterilized medical equipments


At least 12 million Pakistanis are infected with life-threatening infections caused by unsterilized needles and other medical instruments, a study says.

The study says that about 12,000 million injections are used globally every year and the most established risk – based on epidemiological research – is unsafe injection practices by healthcare providers.

According to the World Hepatitis Alliance, there are 500 million people worldwide infected with Hepatitis B and C, a number much higher than those suffering from HIV or any cancer. Pakistan is among those countries that host highest rates of Hepatitis B and C.

The World Health Organization defines a safe injection as one that does not harm the recipient or the provider and does not result in waste that is dangerous to the community.

Unsafe injection practices, however, are very common in Pakistan and MBBS doctors – as well as untrained ones (quacks) – prescribe unnecessary injections to patients. Another dangerous aspect is the reuse of single-use disposable syringe for economic reasons.

Often the patient is so poor that he cannot afford to pay extra or the practitioner has a package deal in which some cheap medicines and an injection is part of the prescription. The reuse of disposable syringes is an intentional practice on part of the provider.

“Syringe reuse is quite literally murder on a global scale,” Safe Point Trust – a UK-based NGO – says about the practice of unsterilized syringes.

News source: Daily Times

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