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Jul, 30 2016

India joins WHO’s Global Injection Safety Campaign

On World Hepatitis Day, India became one of the first countries to join WHO’s Safe Injection Campaign which is integral to eliminating strategy of hepatitis by 2030.

Safe Point India, a frontline not-for profit society working in the field of public health and safety, has lauded and fully endorsed the WHO’s and Government of India’s noble initiative to eliminate viral Hepatitis by 2030 by launching Global Safe Injection Campaign.

On World Hepatitis Day, India became one of the first countries to join WHO’s Safe Injection Campaign which is integral to eliminating strategy of hepatitis by 2030. As per WHO, 33 per cent of Hepatitis B and 42 per cent of Hepatitis C cases are attributed to unsafe injections. It may also be noted that in the South-East Asia Region, viral hepatitis is driving rates of liver cancer and cirrhosis, and is causing premature death and disease with over 100 million people chronically infected with hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

Government of India on the World Hepatitis Day committed to renew the effort to eliminate unsafe injections and has announced 3-year transition time for manufacturers to phase out standard disposable syringes and switch to auto disable syringes and safety syringes as part of hepatitis elimination intervention strategy.

“Injections should be life giver, not life taker and prevention is always better than cure. Sadly, as pointed out by WHO, nearly 33 per cent of Hepatitis B and 42 per cent of Hepatitis C are attributed to unsafe injections. Unsafe injections mostly in the form of reuse of safety injections continues to be a serious threat to life of patients and health workers, casting shadows over public healthcare and immunization programs while raising individual and national healthcare cost burden,” said Rajiv Nath, Project Director & Trustee, Safe Point India, a frontline not-for-profit society working in the field of public health and safety.

“I am especially happy to note that safe injections along with vaccination and better access to healthcare has been now been officially endorsed as key to eliminating a major public health scourge. Swach Bharat Campaign for addressing Hepatitis A & E and a Swach Injection Abhiyan has long been needed for addressing Hepatitis B&C for ensuring Clean Healthcare and Clean Needles. This will not only ensure better health to common Indians but would also bring in great savings in terms of public health spending in the long run,” added Nath.

According to a WHO study, for every $1 (67) invested in injection safety, savings are to the tune of over 14 $ (938₹) in hidden cost of public healthcare spending for treatment of ailments. This is substantial and to correlate one can compare with another WHO study - every $1 invested in immunisation has been resulting in $16 savings to a Nation. Prevention is far less cost than Cure.

“We fully laud WHO and Government of India’s initiative and determination to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. Hepatitis remains a major public health scourge in India. It is not only a killer disease but also severely impairs quality of life besides causing heavy financial burden on infected who mostly happens to be from the poor strata of society. This is a great initiative which has our full support and endorsement,” said Mr Pradeep Sareen, Marketing Head of HMD, Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices.

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