Sunday, April 05, 2009
Needle-exchange program curbing disease: Sask. study
Our friends to the north released a study in February concerning needle exchange programs with positive results.
"A study released Tuesday suggests a provincially funded needle-exchange program is making a difference in Saskatchewan by sharply curbing disease.
The review, for the provincial Health Ministry, found that seven health regions have a needle-exchange program and an estimated four million needles are provided to Saskatchewan's 5,000 intravenous drug users each year.
The report concludes that the programs are meeting the goal of reducing the spread of disease.
It estimates that infections such as HIV and hepatitis C, which are expensive to treat, have been reduced in numbers by up to one-third among drug users, saving an estimated $4 million in health-care costs per year.
Despite the positive findings, the review notes there is room for improvement, especially in the area of needle returns and cleaning up discarded needles.
This supports much of what we said here a few weeks ago