News — 01 April 2015
Smart syringes stop the spread of disease

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is campaigning for all countries to join the transition to “smart syringes” by the year 2020 in a bid to significantly reduce the spread of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. These new syringes can only be used for one injection, and hence would put a stop to deadly diseases being transmitted through the sharing of needles. Based on figures collected by the WHO, this measure could annually prevent the infection of about 34,000 people with HIV, 1.7 million with hepatitis B, and up to 315,000 with hepatitis C.
Director of the WHO HIV/AIDS department, Dr Gottfried Hirnschall, said: “Adoption of safety-engineered syringes is absolutely critical to protecting people worldwide from becoming infected with HIV, hepatitis and other diseases.” The safe syringes are the same price as regular ones, but engineered with a weak spot in the plunger (causing them to break if the user pulls back on the plunger) or with a metal clip that stops the plunger from being moved back. The inventor of the smart syringe, Marc Koska, has spent 30 years campaigning for its use, and although it took him 17 years to sell his first auto-disable syringe, he has now sold five billion!

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