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WHO & UNICEF slam China for its handling of hospital needles
AFAR
11/25/2002



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At an international conference in Beijing, which was co-sponsored by the U.N. and various Chinese health organizations, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF stated that 30% of needle injections in China are unsafe, with perhaps 100% unsafe in rural regions.

The conference urges Beijing to take action to ensure that hospitals stop using needles that do not meet the hygienic standard, as healthy individuals in China are infected daily due to unsafe and dirty needles. WHO claims that Chinese hospitals do not meet even the most basic hygienic standards. Needles and bottles are often used repeatedly by doctors. The main reason lies in the government's reduced funding to hospitals, which are then forced to find cost-reduction solutions. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people are being infected with liver diseases and the HIV virus. China ranks first in terms of Hepatitis B carriers; about 300 Chinese people die from it each year, or one-third of the world's population that is diseased with the same virus.

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