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Private Tajik Dental Clinics Closed Following Hepatitis Scare

Several patients have claimed they contracted hepatitis while undergoing treatment at private dental clinics.
DUSHANBE -- Dushanbe city council has closed down 12 private dental clinics after residents claimed they had contracted hepatitis while undergoing treatment there, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Holmuhammad Nazarov, deputy head of the State Sanitary Control Service, told RFE/RL that the decision to inspect all private dental clinics in the capital and several other districts was taken in response to numerous such complaints.

Nazarov also told RFE/RL that the inspections brought to light many violations of sanitary standards and regulations.

"We were very surprised to learn that dentists were using one and the same instrument to extract the teeth of 20 patients, while regulations require using separate disposable instruments for each patient. Some of the dentists wore nail varnish, which is prohibited," Nazarov told RFE/RL.

The clinics were closed last week.

A resident of Dushanbe who gave her name as Zebo told RFE/RL she contracted the hepatitis virus at a dental clinic in the capital in February.

"My life has turned into a nightmare since then, I have spent a lot of money to treat the disease and contacted the Health Ministry for help," Zebo said.

Zebo said sanitary conditions in state-run dental clinics are also poor.

Read more in Tajik here