'65% of syringes used in India are unsafe'
As per WHO, in India about 5 bn injections are given annually whereas only 1.5 bn syringes are manufactured, making the country more susceptible to HIV and Hepatitis, reports Satyen Mohapatra.delhi Updated: Apr 27, 2007 04:45 IST
"Sixty five per cent of syringes used in India are unsafe, according to a World Bank and government of India report," says Marc Koska, the inventor of single use (auto disposable) syringe that locks and breaks after use.
In an exclusive interview with the Hindustan Times, Koska who is a winner of the Order of the British Empire says, "We are in the Capital to make a film on the hazards of use of unsafe injections and are trying to organise a meeting with the president of India to endorse the film and its message. We will try to show the film on all television channels and all possible media outlets."
He said reuse of syringes leads to transmission of blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. According to a WHO report, about 1.3 million children die each year from syringe reuse and that some 22 million people are infected.
In India about five billion injections are given annually whereas only 1.5 billion syringes are manufactured - a clear evidence of reuse of syringes, he added.
"There are some doctors and quacks who cheat people by using the same syringes for giving 20-25 injections as it turns out to be more profitable even if putting the patients' lives at risk," he alleged.
Marc Koska's mission is to create public awareness by telling people that the syringe they use must come in a sealed packet, it must be used once and destroyed. It must be put in a safety box for proper destruction.
He plans to propose the Smart Injection Plan to the ministry of health whereby the cost difference between normal syringes and auto disposable syringes will be met by donor agencies.
Koska has set up a charity called Safepoint for advocacy of this message and wants to spread it in the entire world. He plans to visit every country with the message. Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Indonesia are next on his agenda.