The Guardian (London) (10.29.11) - Wednesday, November 02,
A British entrepreneur and designer of an auto-disable (AD)
syringe is on a mission to get such devices widely adopted to
prevent syringe re-use, which can transmit infectious diseases
such as HIV and hepatitis B and C. Tanzania is one of the
countries using the AD syringes, said Marc Koska, founder of
SafePoint, a charity that advocates for the use of any
quality-assured brand of AD syringe.
A 2000 World Health Organization study estimated 23 million
hepatitis B and C transmissions were attributable to unsafe
injection practices each year, costing $119 billion in annual
medical costs and lost productivity. Koska hopes to persuade
four other east African countries to use AD syringes before
taking on the global market.
The largest procurer of routine childhood immunizations,
UNICEF, provides safe syringes along with the vaccines, Koska
noted. But that leaves out "the other 90 percent" of
injections, he said.
At 0.03 GBP (US $0.05) apiece, syringes are cheap to
manufacture. A small number of large companies make them,
bundling them as a loss leader with other higher-margin
products. AD syringes can be made cheaply made after initially
expensive changes in the production process.
With Koska's AD syringe, the plunger breaks upon attempted re-
use. Three billion have been sold.