UAE to provide 8 million syringes worldwide

DUBAI — The UAE will provide eight million disposable syringes worldwide as world health chiefs call for cultural changes to promote safe injections.

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Published: Sun 14 Nov 2010, 9:25 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:59 PM

The UAE Safe Injection Initiative is the first in the world and makes the country the 18th to mass produce the most used medical device in the world. Currently, 11 factories in the UAE are producing medical devices for local use as well as export purposes.

Besides, a fund supported by the private sector and administered by the UAE government will purchase these devices from existing manufacturers and make them available to the needy countries where they will be used in place of the lesser safe disposable syringes that are currently in common use for therapeutic injections.

Announcing the initiative at the 11th Annual Conference on Safety Injection Global Network on Tuesday, Dr Hanif Hassan, UAE Minister of Health, said the country would provide much of the world’s need in the field.

Statistics show that one person dies every 24 seconds in the world due to unsafe injections causing 1.3 million deaths each year.

The Middle East has the world’s worst practices with regard to injection use, where three out of the 4.2 injections used per person per year are unsafe,” said officials from the World Health Organisation. “Use of non-sterile equipment is also a common practice,” said Dr Selma Khamassi from WHO Injection Safety and Related Infection Control during a meeting on the UAE Safe Injection Initiative in August.

Besides reuse of syringes, other problems include unsafe collection and disposal of syringes leading to the spread of infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B and C and HIV.

“The idea is to provide cheap, safe and reliable medical devices to people in the developing world,” said Dr Amin Al Amiri, Executive Director for Medical Practices and Licences at the Ministry of Health.

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