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    The reuse of needles and syringes is all too common around the world. Each year, 16 billion injections are given in the developing world and it is estimated that 6.7 billion are done with reused equipment (3).

     According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2000 needle reuse contributed to 22 million new infections of Hepatitis B, 2 million new infections of Hepatitis C, and 260,000 new HIV infections worldwide.(4) 

     Globally, an average of only 2 needle syringes per injecting drug user are distributed per month.(5) 

 With an average injection rate of 3.5 injections a day by IDU's it can be surmised that the cleaning of a pre-used needle/syringe is inevitable. 

     These figures neglect to take into account the number of skin and soft tissue infections experienced by IDU's without access to sterile injection equipment. In a 2015 study(6) done at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, USA it was found that during a 12 month period, over 11.4 million dollars was spent on preventable bacterial infections on only 349 IDU patients.

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(3) " The use of injections in health services throughout the world", Ivan 2003 www.ncbi.nlm.gov/pmc/artices/PMC2617401 Hutin
(4) " Technical Activities: injection of security", who www.who.int/patientsafety/activities/technical/injection_safety/en
(5)   Mathers,B. et. al. (2010) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20189638
(6) " Analysis of costs of hospitalization for infections related to injecting drug use www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4468183"

 

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