(NaturalNews) According to the World Health Organization, immunization providers are responsible for 1.3 million early deaths each year in emerging countries, due to using needles and syringes multiple times without sterilizing them. But, it doesn't stop there. Approximately 21.7 million people every year who line up for vaccines and other injections with these unsterilized needles and syringes are being infected with Hepatitis B. An additional 2 million are infected with Hepatitis C, and still another 250,000 receive HIV infections. One might question why the World Health Organization would allow the administration of vaccines and medications year after year, in such an unsanitary manner, while keeping statistics that prove millions are actually receiving a death sentence.
Is this a new problem? No!
In 1999, the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) issued a joint statement outlining the substantial risk of disease and death involved when re-using immunization needles. This joint statement also provided a solution to the problem - an auto-disable syringe, which was "widely available at low cost." This type of syringe presented the lowest risk of person-to-person transmission of blood-borne pathogens because it could not be reused. Their stated goal was:
"By 2003 WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA recommend that all immunization be provided in all countries using only auto-disable syringes."
Problem solved, right? Again, No! The original 1999 joint statement was revised in 2003. The following statistics were reported by UNICEF in an undated publication:
Estimated number of annual infections due to unsafe injections:
• Hepatitis B: 21 million cases
• Hepatitis C: 2 million cases
• HIV: 250,000
• Estimated annual deaths: 1.3 million
Another three years pass. In 2006, WHO issues a revised statement titled, Injection Safety: Misuse and Overuse of Injection Worldwide. This 'revised' statement says:
The most recent study* indicates that each year unsafe injections cause an estimated 1.3 million early deaths, a loss of 26 million years of life, and an annual burden of USD 535 million in direct medical costs.
Unsafe injection practices are a powerful engine to transmit blood-borne pathogens, including hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Because infection with these viruses initially presents no symptoms, it is a silent epidemic. However, the consequences of this are increasingly recognized.
• Hepatitis B virus: HBV is highly infectious and causes the highest number of infections: in developing and transitional countries 21.7 million people become infected each year, representing 33% of new HBV infections worldwide
• Hepatitis C virus: Unsafe injections are the most common cause of HCV infection in developing and transitional countries, causing two million new infections each year and accounting for 42% of cases.
• Human immunodeficiency virus: Globally nearly 2% of all new HIV infections are caused by unsafe injections. In South Asia up to 9% of new cases may be caused in this way. Such proportions can no longer be ignored.
HBV, HCV, and HIV cause chronic infections that lead to disease, disability and death a number of years after the unsafe injection. Those infected with hepatitis B virus in childhood will typically present with chronic liver disease by the age of 30 years, at the prime of their life. This has a dramatic effect on national economies.
* The cost of unsafe injections by M.A. Miller & E. Pisani: Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Vol. 77, no 10, 808-811.
Please note the above quotation refers to 'the most recent study.' This is the same 1999 study which brought unsafe immunization practices to the attention of worldwide health authorities. Did none of these organizations see a need to follow-up on the issue and perhaps update their records? Apparently an estimated 1.3 million early deaths per year is nothing to be overly concerned about when it comes to immunization practices.
An additional five years pass. In 2011, Talea Miller, PBS, issues a report stating:
"A nurse injects a patient with a syringe of antibiotics, reloads and moves on to the next patient in line. The syringe isn't sterilized, the needle is not replaced, and the patient is at risk of contracting a disease from the very shot that is supposed to cure him.
It's a disturbing scenario, and one that plays out each day in many poor countries. About 40 percent of all injections are given with unsterilized, reused syringes and needles, reports the World Health Organization. An estimated 1.3 million deaths -- and 21.7 million new Hepatitis B infections -- occur each year as a result of the unsafe practice."
Twelve years since the initial warning about unsafe immunization practices being used worldwide and the statistics don't appear to be changing. Are the estimated 16.9 million early deaths and 288 million new infections with potentially life threatening diseases which occurred during that time supposed to be acceptable collateral damage?
If so, perhaps the average medical consumer has no concept of what the terms 'infectious disease control' and 'public health' mean to those in charge of the world's health and safety.
Story Written By Norma Erickson, President of SANEVAX, INC.
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Important Links for HPV Vaccine Injury.
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HPV Vaccine for Teens: Doctors Voice Their Concerns
The vaccine in question, marketed as Gardasil and Cervarix, prevents infection of HPV, the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted virus that is the primary cause of cervical cancer and a major cause of anal, vaginal and penile cancers.
See all stories on this topic »
The vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, the fourth most deadly cancer for women worldwide, has faced difficulty in gaining acceptance in the United States, and a new survey may indicate why.
The vaccine in question, marketed as Gardasil and Cervarix, prevents infection of HPV, the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted virus that is the primary cause of cervical cancer and a major cause of anal, vaginal and penile cancers. The HPV vaccine, approved by the FDA in 2006, is recommended for girls ages 9 and older, before they become sexually active.
In a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. physicians, some doctors reported they are opposed to the vaccine on moral grounds or have concerns about its cost, safety or efficacy. Although those in opposition represent a minority, many provided insightful written explanations as to why they are reluctant to recommend the vaccine to patients. [5 Dangerous Vaccination Myths]
A survey analysis, conducted by the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., is detailed online in the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. The researchers, led by Susan Vadaparampil, say that because a doctor's recommendation is a driving force behind a parent allowing a child to receive this largely non-mandatory vaccine, understanding doctors' concerns is crucial to improving vaccination rates.
A common virus
Most sexually active men and women will acquire at least one strain of HPV in their lives, and half of sexually active young adults under age 25 are infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Only certain strains of HPV cause cancer, however, and most cervical infections can be detected by a pap smear and treated before becoming cancerous. Nevertheless, each year more than 12,000 women develop cervical cancer. Worldwide there are about a half million cases annually and 250,000 related deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
The HPV vaccine isn't the first vaccine associated with a sexually transmitted disease. The hepatitis B virus is spread primarily through unprotected sex. The "HepB" vaccine is given to infants and lasts upwards of 25 years. HepB lacks controversy, though, because children can acquire the liver-damaging hepatitis B non-sexually through infected members in their household. [Quiz: Test Your STD Smarts]
The HPV vaccine, on the other hand, is chiefly about sex and has all the buzzwords to make it controversial: teenage girls, cervix, vagina and penis.
The doctors' survey indicated that some physicians — particularly family physicians, as opposed to gynecologists and pediatricians — echoed complaints voiced by some parents: that the vaccine given to preteens or young teenagers promotes promiscuity, lulls girls into a false sense of security, and discourages them from seeking regular gynecological screening.
There is no evidence to support these concerns, the researchers said. In fact, general vaccine usage dictates otherwise: No one knowingly steps on dirty nails, emboldened by the power of a tetanus shot. Also, studies reveal that teenagers are more aware of other common and immediate hazards of unprotected sex: HIV, gonorrhea and teen pregnancy. Thus teenagers would not have unprotected sex based solely on protection offered against something that prevents cancer decades down the line.
However, Vadaparampil said the concept that girls would neglect future screening deserves further investigation, because this would have serious consequences.
Most doctors concerned about the vaccine cost — more than $100 for each of the three required shots, although usually free for the uninsured — were not against the HPV vaccine, but rather wanted to reduce the financial burden imposed on parents. As for safety and efficacy, many doctors said that these concerns would likely diminish over time.
Fewer than 45 percent of girls in the target group between ages 13 and 18 have received one or more of the three shots, according to the CDC. That's less than half of the vaccination rates for most childhood vaccines
The average age of sexual debut for U.S. girls is 17.4.
The percentage of girls who complete the HPV vaccine series is dropping, according to a paper published last month in the journal Cancer. This surprised the researchers, from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, who thought they'd uncovered a rise in vaccine rates.
In essence, the older the girl, the less likely she will seek her follow-up shots. Girls most likely to get three complete shots, spaced out over the course of a year, were ages 9 to 12. But even for this group, the rate is falling: In 2006, 57 percent of preteens who got the first shot got the next two; in 2009, only 21 percent did the same, the study showed.
The two studies combined suggest the need to have girls vaccinated as early as possible — young enough to maintain a three-shot schedule, and young enough to view the vaccine with innocence for what it is, a cancer preventative, not a magical condom.
Christopher Wanjek is the author of the books "Bad Medicine" and "Food At Work." His column,Bad Medicine, appears regularly on LiveScience.