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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

UK firm to donate safe syringe sets

23rd September 2011

UK-based firm - SafePoint Social Innovation Partners - will soon donate syringe sets to the government as part of contribution aimed at supporting the latter to fight diseases as well as scale down HIV spread in the country.

SafePoint official Ginny Simpson revealed this on Wednesday during the signing ceremony of an open-ended memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the University of Dar es salaam (UDSM) and Hewlett-Packard Tanzania (HP) to train UDSM’s students on information and communication technology.

“SafePoint has decided to support Tanzanian residents on this issue after observing that 250 million hypodermic needles are used yearly for patients in Tanzania, one needle can be used two or three times for patient and this is not good for health,” she said.

Simpson said currently less than two per cent of over 200 million injections estimated to take place each year in the country had Safe Auto Disabled (AD) syringe, which is automatically rendered unusable after use.

She also noted that SafePoint in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare would start applying a system that encourages patients to send a free SMS message reporting safe use of an AD syringe.

“With this information, the government will be able to monitor AD syringe adoption and raise awareness of their importance in preventing unnecessary disease transmission,” she said.

She also added that unsafe injection practices were associated with sustainable morbidity and mortality, particularly from hepatitis B and C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections.

“These inadvertently transmitted blood borne disease become manifest some considerable time after infection and hence may not be appropriately accounted for,” said Simpson.

Elaborating on why they run lifesaver campaign in the country, she said that all syringe sets globally would be safe and create no further harm to the patient.

“If an injection is given with correct WHO/POS and ISO standard patient, AD syringe, it will ensure that the spread of HIV and other blood –borne infections through this transmission route are stopped,” she said.

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