by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
According to studies and statistics released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), hepatitis is the seventh largest cause of deaths globally. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver commonly caused by a viral infection.
There are five main types; type A, B, C, D and E.
Statistics now show that 1.5 million deaths every year are cases of both viruses B and C. Each type though has different causes, and while these traditional causes remain, another new cause is now believed to be the major cause of death.
WHO has identified this as being the unsafe application of injections, the very injections people would receive in order to stave off the virus.
WHO Service Delivery and Safety Department Director Edward Kelly says “unsafe injections account for 32 per cent of hepatitis B infections, and about 40 per cent of hepatitis C.
“The most frequent medical procedures in the world today are injections, 16 billion a year and the rate of unsafe injections of those 16 billion, we estimate is about 40 per cent”.
In the hope of eliminating this health threat, the WHO is now campaigning to promote the exclusive use of sterile syringes specifically designed to prevent reuse.
In addition, Stefan Wiktor, WHO Global Hepatitis Program Team Leader adds that to prevent infection and deaths, there are now treatments available.
Unsafe injection is now identified to be the major cause of hepatitis deaths, but preventable measures can help put a stop to more deaths occurring.