Unhygienic dental practices responsible for hepatitis epidemic in Kashmir : DAK

Expressing serious concern over unhygienic dental practices in Kashmir, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday said this is responsible for high rates of hepatitis infection in the valley.

“ Both government and private dental clinics are not following guidelines on infection-control putting patients at risk of serious infections like hepatitis and HIV,” said  DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a communique.

“You go to a dentist to fix your teeth or gum problems, you are at risk of contracting these deadly infections due to breach in infection-control standards,” he said.

DAK President said most of the dental clinics use unsterilized or improperly sterilized instruments endangering the safety of patients. The tools are not cleaned in between patients. The disposable items which are for single-use are reused on patients. Unsterile needles are used in multiple dose medication vials.

“38 percent population of two twin villages of Takia-Magam and Sonbarie in Kokernag area were found to be infected with Hepatitis C infection,”  Dr Nisar Quoted another study adding that during a screening in 2015, 84 persons were found positive for hepatitis B virus in village Diver of Lolab area.

“There are around 459 cases of HIV infection registered in SKIMS hospital,” he informed.

“Hepatitis B, C and HIV infections are serious medical conditions and infected patients may not have outward symptoms of the disease for many years,” said Dr Nisar.

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