New Delhi: Thankfully the pressing point of safe injection has finally sunk in. Andhra Pradesh is all set to become the first ‘Safety Injection Use State’ by mandating use of only auto disposable syringes. This bold step taken by AP government is bound to unleash an era of safe injection in the country. It is hoped after AP’s exemplary step, India might become Safe Injection Use country any time soon.
Injection if not safe becomes a tool more of spreading diseases more than limiting it. Not long ago, in UP’s Unnao district, over 45 people were infected with HIV due to unsafe injection. Such cross infections are rampant in India. Safe Point, safe injection campaign organization, is all praise for AP government for this epoch making decision.
A passionate Safe Injection advocate, Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMed) and Safe Point Trustee, has applauded Andhra Pradesh Government for becoming the First Indian State to pass an order to use Auto-Disable Syringes for all clinical purposes and to declare the State of Andhra Pradesh as “Safety Injection Use State” from World Hepatitis Day on28 July 2018. Mr Nath has long been urging PM Modi to launch a National Swachh Injection Abhiyan .
Rajiv Nath further said,‘We applaud the initiative being taken by CM N Chandrababu Naidu of GoAP to ensure One Injection will be given from One Syringe by mandating universal usage of Auto Disable Syringes in all clinical / therapeutic cases as part of Infection Prevention w.e.f World Hepatitis Day. We urge the Central government and other progressive States to follow the lead taken by Andhra Govt. in Healthcare System Strengthening and lowering burden of infections by breaking the cycle of cross infection – let there be no more Unnao, no more Modasa type tragedies in India’.
In view of Comprehensive Health Technology Assessment (HTA) report done by PGI Chandigarh on behalf of Dept of Health Research pointing out high mortality and morbidity in patients and healthcare workers due to transmission of infection of HIV, HCV and HBs, and the cost effectiveness of Auto Disable Syringes, the Andhra Government has decided to make usage of AD syringes mandatory for all clinical purposes, the State Government order has said.
‘By deciding to become ‘Safety Injection Use State’, Andhra Pradesh has become the first State in India to have implemented this important initiative. Incidentally when Auto Disable Syringes were introduced in the mass Immunisation campaign in India Andhra Pradesh under progressive leadership of CM Naidu was the first state to introduce this before Central Govt decided to make it mandatory for all Immunisation Injections. Immunisation Injections however account for only 10-15% of all Injections. Bulk of Injections is used for clinical therapeutic use. Central Government should now consider converting advisories to definitive directives on this issue to all Central Govt & State Government Public Health facilities,’ Mr. Rajiv Nath said adding Injection Safety is must to control spread of Blood Borne Infections (BBIs).
The biggest Global Campaign for use of Safe Injection Practice came early in 2015 when WHO Director General Margaret Chen flagged off the biggest Global initiative since Polio Eradication and Hand Wash Campaign called “Global Health Initiative on Injection Safety” and chose India, Egypt and Uganda as the focus Countries to spearhead the Campaign. WHO had stated that for every dollar invested in Injections Safety the RoI (Returns on Investment) was 14 dollars. WHO has given directive to all Member States and Institutions to go for mandatory use of SMART Auto-Disable Safety engineered Syringes in Healthcare System by 2020 and urged all Donor Institutions to supply only AD / RUP / SIP Syringes henceforth in their Campaigns depending upon local manufacturing capacity and availability and affordability.
Many countries including USA, EU, Canada and Japan have already adopted Safety Engineered Syringes (SES) said Dr HS Ratti, Advisor to Safe Point and an Army trained epidemiologist.
In the Health Technology Assessment report by PGIMER, Chandigarh based on Pilot project initiated by WHO in Punjab which has the highest population of Hepatitis infected patients on Cost Effectiveness of Safety Engineered Syringes for Therapeutic Use in India, 2017-18 pointed out that 33% of Hepatitis B and 42% of Hepatitis C the world over is attributable to unsafe injections in developing countries, making it a serious health hazard.
‘India is catching up with the world where Safe Injection policies exist India consumes over 4 Billion Syringes per year of which an INCLEN study done had found nearly 60% as unsafe and 1/3 being reused .Addressing the unsafe injection practices is an important public health agenda, especially in low and middle income countries.
The poor hygiene in hospitals acts as amplifier for disease as a patient gets admitted for a specific treatment but ends up getting treated for a hospital acquired infection. The reuse of medical syringes continues to be a matter of serious concern as it poses grave health risks both to the patient as well as to medical professionals in light of growing AMR (Anti Microbial Resistance) and also acts as a barrier to the Government’s resolve of eliminating these diseases by 2030. Dr Ratti said “Progressive Andhra Govt’s One Injection One Syringe Policy via Auto Disable Syringes is launch of a WAR on BBI and AMR’.
It is also tribute to Safe Point India which was set up in the year 2006 in New Delhi with the objective of enhancing awareness about the injection, safety, health and hygiene by running public awareness campaigns targeting both health care workers i.e. nursing professionals, doctors and other paramedical staff along with the general public.