News Paper The Hindu
Article title Unsafe Injections, Fatal Infections
Writer R PRASAD, Chennai
The first step to check blood borne infections from contaminated injection devices is by avoiding unnecessary injections.
The use of unsterilised injection devices has led to the spread of blood borne viral infections in the developing countries, says a report of WHO. The reuse of unsterilised injection devices in the Soth East Asian Region is as high as 75 per cent.
Indian Clinical Epidemiology Network and All India Institute of Medical Sciences New Delhi, supported by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and WHO conducted a study in this regard and found that 63 per cent of injections in India are unsafe. One third of these injections carry a risk of transmitting blood borne viruses.
This highlights thre dire need to include safe injection practices in addition to safe sex to escape from HIV and hepatitis infections.
The study undertaken in India points to a higher possibility of HIV infections fromcontaminated needles and syringes.It is essential that India take steps for better protection. Patients who ask for injections for quick relief are unwittingly exposing themselves to potential risks. The doctors who oblige the patients do play a major role in this tragic situation.
WHO says that majority of therapeutic injections in developing countries are unnecessary.
WHO< UNICEF and UNFPA had recommended that all countries use only auto-disable syringes in immunisation programmes from 2003
The use of auto-disable syringes in government immunisation programmes has been made mandatory in India so that chances of HIV or other blood borne infections are eliminayed to a great extent.It should be mandatory for all private immunisation programmes also to reduce infections.
Doctors and patients should ensure that syringes and needles are destroyed after use to prevent their reentry into market.Avoiding the use of glass syringes , insisting on the use of disposable syringes and needles and using auto-disable syringes will make a great impact on curbing blood borne infections.
Glass syringes which can sport disposable needles are capable of causing infection due to inadequate steriliusation processes available at majority of health centres across the country.