Tuesday, August 3, 2010

UAE hosts WHO’s global injection safety network meet

The Gulf Today, 3 Aug 2010

The UAE has extended its support to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) war against deadly diseases which are transmitted through unsafe injection practices in poor and developing countries.
The WHO’s eleventh global network for injection safety programme will be staged in November to take significant steps towards preventing lethal diseases transmitted through contaminated syringes in developed countries, a senior health official said.
The global network for injection safety is working regularly on providing the necessary precautions for the member states as well as the methods of injections safety especially in healthcare facilities.
Dr Amin Al Amiri, Executive Director for Medical Practices and Licenses at the Ministry of Health (MoH), said, “The initiative is aimed at facilitating such countries to protect their communities from viral diseases due to multi-usage of injection equipments. The initiative will contribute 50 per cent to the cost of providing safe syringes.”
“Charity will be raised to reduce such adverse health impacts through purchase of single use syringes in large quantities with competitive prices to be distributed worldwide,” he added.
“Health experts from 120 countries will participate in the WHO conference that will announce plans to provide financial support given to the region’s countries to use single syringes,” Dr Al Amiri said.
“Mechanisms will be developed to support safe use of injections under the supervision of the UAE. Global medicine and pharmaceutical establishments, banks, airlines and real estate firms [will be encouraged to lend support] for the region’s countries to pay 50 per cent of the injections’ values,” he elaborated.
“The prices of single used injections are equivalent to five times the prices of reusable injections. Under the UAE’s initiative, it will be possible to manufacture large quantities of these injections in the UAE with better prices, Dr Al AMiri pointed out.
Dr Selma Khamassi, Injection Safety and Related Infection Control Officer at the Secretariat of the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, said that the injection safety programme components included patient safety, health care providers' safety and the safety of the community.
“There are three major areas of concerns over the safety of injections worldwide, including reuse of equipment, unsafe collection and unsafe disposal. The adverse dangers associated with the unsafe injections are transmission of blood-borne pathogens like Hepatitis B and C, HIV or AIDS and hemorrhagic fever viruses,” she added.
Khamassi explained, “Up to 70 per cent of injections are unnecessary in some countries. About 21 million Hepatitis B infections are reported annually from unsafe injection practices, with 30 per cent new cases, two million Hepatitis C infections, 41 of them are new cases, and 260 000 HIV/AIDS infections, with 5 per cent of new cases.”
“About 16 billion needle injections, 40 per cent of which are with reused syringes, are administered on people in developing countries. The vast majority, estimated at 95 per cent, of these injections are used for curative care. Meanwhile, three per cent of the injections are vaccinations, and the remaining per cent is for blood transfusion purposes,” said the WHO statistics.
According to it, unsafe injections occur yearly in about 1.3 million death cases and cost an annual burden of 535 US million dollars in medical costs.
“Contaminated injections cause infections to 21.7 million people each year in developing countries. Estimated at 33 per cent, seven million people are died due to Hepatitis-B infection from contaminated syringes, and around two million people die from infection of Hepatitis-C annually,” indicated the WHO reports.
The transmission of HIV or AIDS virus through unsafe injections is two per cent, especially in South Asia.
The WHO is updating information on the best practices of safety injections and waste disposals, protection of health workers and infection control in all its forms.

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