Unsafe Injections Lead to Global Disease Burden
Reuters Health Information Services;
During this week's International Conference on Harm Reduction in New Delhi, India, Dr. Keith M. Sabin--an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention--reported that billions of unsafe and unnecessary injections each year are causing serious illness and millions of premature deaths. Quoting World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, Sabin asserted that at least 75 percent of the estimated 12 billion injections given each year are unnecessary. Unsanitary conditions in some parts of the world have led to high rates of infection for blood-borne diseases like HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, particularly in Africa and Asia. According to WHO data published in 1999, unsafe injections cause between 8 million and 16 million cases of hepatitis B infection each year, 2 million to 5 million cases of hepatitis C, and 80,000 to 160,000 cases of HIV.