Delhi may be a HIVe of Quacks reusing Syringes

Syringe & Quacks are a perilous combination all over India, infecting unsuspecting people with impunity

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New Delhi / Unnao(UP):  Quacks- there are 40 thousands of them in Delhi and counting. And, reusing syringes constitutes one of their main unsafe practices.  Therefore 21 people infected with HIV in Unnao of Uttar Pradesh could as well be news of any part of Delhi. You can hazard any number of people infected with HIV in Delhi, thanks to reuse of syringes.

Quacks aka Jhola Chhap without any degree or at best 8-10 class pass could be found practising in any part of Delhi, outside AIIMS, in the vicinity of PM’s residence and all over. They are flourishing with impunity, in cahoots with bureaucrats and politicians. Despite clear cut orders from Delhi High Court and Supreme Court to stamp out quacks from Delhi, Delhi police and health officials turn a deaf ear to Delhi Medical Council’s complains. Due to support they get from police and politicians, campaigns run so far by Delhi Medical Council and Delhi Medical Association to eradicate quackery have come a cropper.

Talking to Medicare News, Dr Anil Bansal, former chairman, of anti quackery raid squad of Delhi Medical Council, said, ‘The menace of quackery is increasing by the day in Delhi despite our best efforts due to reluctant administration. Despite being caught red handed, they get away with it easily.  Giving injection and reusing syringes are mainstays of their earning. All kinds of infections including HIV and Hepatitis B are being spread by them, thanks to unsafe practices including reusing syringes.’

Dr Bansal, still in the raid squad of Delhi Medical Council, further said, ‘They use one syringe in over twenty patients. One syringe costs 10 rupees only. Earning money is their sole motto, so they resort to any unethical and unsafe practice. Less fees and cheap treatment prove effective bait to attract poor and unsuspecting patients. You can see long lines of patients outside quacks’ clinics.’

The instance of 21 people getting infected with HIV due to a quack reusing same syringe for many people may be tip of the iceberg of this menace. It is important that the administration admitted that the infection spread due to rampant reuse of syringes. A case has been registered against the quack.

566 people were examined of whom 21 were found to be infected with HIV. The victims have been referred to Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) centre at Kanpur. Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh told reporters that matter was being investigated and thorough mapping done.’

Rajiv Nath, Jt Managing Director of Hindutan Syringes and Medical Devices Ltd and trustee of Safe Point India, said, ‘UP’s healthcare is fragile. It needs urgent HSS and introduction of UIP including urgent deployment of Auto Disable syringes and needle stick prevention IV Cannula to immediately limit epidemic from spreading.’

Mr Nath, Forum Coordinator of Association of Indian Medical Device industry (AiMed) and president, All India Syringes and Needle Mfg Association (AISN), further said, ‘Every 1 $ investment in injection safety saves 14 $ in public healthcare  as per WHO. Why use disposables that get misused, and reused and becomes carrier of infection without universal precautions? Like in immunisation, why cannot only Auto Disable Syringes be deployed in public healthcare?’

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