05:50 GMT +322 January 2019
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    Russian maternity wards vulnerable to infection - chief doctor

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    MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti) - Maternity homes have the highest infection risk of all Russian medical institutions, the country's chief doctor said Tuesday.

    "About 40% of hospital infections are contracted in maternity hospitals, which makes both mothers and children suffer," Gennady Onishchenko said.

    He cited a hospital in the city of Elista in Russia's southern republic of Kalmykia, where newly-born children had been infected with HIV in 1989 due to the negligence of the medical staff, and added that hepatitis B and C were also frequently contracted in hospitals.

    Onishchenko said transfusion of blood, its components, and organ transplant operations were the riskiest procedures in terms of infection, and called for quarantine blood banks to be established for six-month storage of blood as a 100% safeguard against infection.

    The chief doctor also highlighted the problem of waste disposal. With the ubiquity of disposable instruments, the problem of medical waste "must be solved on a high scientific level," Onishchenko said.

    In his state-of-the-nation address on May 10, President Vladimir Putin outlined a priority national project called Health, which focuses on the improvement of medical services as one way of reversing the country's demographic crisis.

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