Tanzania set to become the first "LIFESAVER" country
In Africa some 20 million medical injections contaminated with blood from a patient with HIV are administered each year. (Source: Reid 2009). This staggering fact is just one of the reasons driving the delivery of 'LifeSaver' Campaigns by Marc Koska and his team at The SafePoint Trust.
Back in October 2010 a group of mums braved the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, with a sole purpose (quite fitting as they had their Louboutin's with them) to raise money towards a donation of syringes destined for Tanzania. The amount raised, was generously matched by HP, and Paul Ellingstad, Global Health Director, from HP Office of Global Social Innovation said "SafePoint is blazing the path to safer injections, and this catalytic leadership is driving collaboration amongst the key stakeholders which in turn will create sustainable improvement to the health system."
It was a proud moment for Marc on Friday 3rd June, when he attended a meeting where the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Hon Dr Lucy Nkya announced they would become the first LifeSaver country. The Ministry made a commitment to make un-safe injections a thing of the past and welcomed the container of LifeSaver syringes donated by The SafePoint Trust. The container (holding close to 400 thousand LifeSaver AD syringes) was handed over by Marc - a donation that will be distributed between hospitals in Lindi, Morogoro and Mwanza regions and will set the quality of product now being used in clinics and hospitals alike.
The LifeSaver syringes will be tracked from their arrival to the final stage of delivery – a safe injection. To qualify for 'LifeSaver' status, syringes are required to be Auto Disable (AD) and meet the correct ISO 7886-4 standard. All further syringes being purchased by the Tanzanian Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) will qualify under these guidelines.
This was an exciting day for the 'LifeSaver Tanzania Campaign', a country delivering safe injections will ensure the spread of HIV and other blood-borne infections through this transmission route are finally curtailed – policy, product and public information is paramount for it's successful delivery.
The next day the donation and announcement from the ministry on LifeSaver featured heavily on the front pages of all national newspapers - see the Daily News online coverage here.