Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

The Safe Injection Global Network (SIGN)

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

The Safe Injection Global Network (SIGN)

Article excerpt

Safe Injection Global Network (SIGN) sign@who.int http://www.injectionsafety.org

Increasing evidence from published and unpublished studies indicates that a combination of unsafe injections and overuse of injections causes widespread transmission of bloodborne pathogens worldwide. More than 12 000 million injections are given annually. An average of 95% of all injections are for therapeutic purposes, which suggests overuse of injections. In addition, a recent report indicated that in 14 of 19 countries more than 50% of injections were administered with injection equipment reused without sterilization (1). Finally, more than 18 studies report that unsafe injections transmit bloodborne pathogens. Overall, unsafe injections account for 20-80% of new hepatitis B virus infections and are a major mode of hepatitis C virus transmission (1).

A mathematical model has been constructed to estimate the annual risk of cross-infection due to unsafe injections worldwide. According to this model, approximately 8-16 million new hepatitis B virus infections, 2.3-4.7 million hepatitis C virus infections, and 80 000-160 000 new human immunodeficiency virus infections may occur each year as a consequence of unsafe injection practices (2). …

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