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Health Ministry hits out at shock HIV study

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MBABANE- The Ministry of Health has come out to clarify their stand with regards to the allegations contained in a study that one in five HIV positive babies were infected by nurses.

The ministry says the Swaziland Demographic and Health Survey, which was quoted did not analyse the discordance between HIV positive children and their mothers.
In a statement by Principal Secretary (PS), Steven Shongwe it said the findings of the report did not identify risk factors of children in the age two-12 years.

Shongwe was responding to the reports of a study that alleges that nurses are infecting children with HIV.
It was said at least 50 per cent of medical injections and vaccinations are unsafe with needles being used repeatedly on one patient after another without sterilisation.
In response the PS said his ministry ensures safety of all medical injections and vaccinations through the appli-cation of safety measures.

Safety

He said the safety measures include amongst others disposal of all used syringes into sharp containers, which are stored in safe areas before end disposal is done, burning and burying all sharp containers and incineration where facilities available are  in a supervised manner and re- use of syringes and needles was not practiced in their context.
Shongwe said the national malaria programme does not use injectables in the ministry’s prevention and management interventions.

He said the information contained might not necessarily provide the official position of the issue raised as there is a ministry of Health and Scientific and Ethics Committee that approves any health related issues.
“The ministry would like to ensure the nation that all medical injections and vaccinations are safe procedures conducted by trained nurses and other health professionals,” he said.

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