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Bull World Health Organ. 1999; 77(10): 808–811.
PMCID: PMC2557745

The cost of unsafe injections.

Abstract

Unsafe injection practices are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality, particularly from hepatitis B and C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections. These inadvertently transmitted bloodborne diseases become manifest some considerable time after infection and hence may not be appropriately accounted for. Annually more than 1.3 million deaths and US$ 535 million are estimated to be due to current unsafe injection practices. With the global increase in the number of injections for vaccination and medical services, safer injecting technologies such as auto-disable syringes must be budgeted for. Investment in health education and safer disposal will also reduce infections associated with unsafe injecting practices. Safer injecting practices are more expensive than current less safe practices, but the additional cost is more than offset by the reduction in disease that would result.

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