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Bull World Health Organ. 2000; 78(1): 135–143.
PMCID: PMC2560596

Anthropological perspectives on injections: a review.


Qualitative studies from developing countries have pointed to the widespread popularity of injections. In addition to their use by formal and informal providers and traditional healers, there is now increasing evidence of the use of injections and injection equipment by lay people. Epidemiological research links the large number of unsafe injections to serious bloodborne infections such as viral hepatitis B and C and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The present article examines the reasons behind the demand for injections by consumers and the administration of unnecessary or unsafe injections by different types of provider. Interventions aimed at reducing the risk of unsafe injections are discussed in relation to cultural and social factors as well as those factors associated with health systems. Suggestions are made for approaches to the design of such interventions.

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