Epidemic of Reuse Syringes might end in India, thanks to COVID 19

UNICEF & WHO reinforce HMD’s stance of Auto-disable Syringes to avoid spread of Infection

New Delhi: The crusade of Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices against reuse of syringes has got a shot in the arm, thanks to COVID 19. UNICEF’s massive order to HMD for Auto-disable syringes for COVID vaccination emphasises unequivocally that AD is a must if spread of infection has to be averted. One of the world’s largest auto syringe maker, HMD has already sent first shipment of 56m syringes to Covax facility.

Reuse of needles and syringes has been a major source of spread of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV in India. HMD has vociferously stressed the need for making auto disable syringes the norm in injection in India. Thankfully, COVID 19 might end the menace of reusable syringes. Auto-disable Syringes becoming gold standard is the need of the hour.

Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd (HMD), one of the largest manufacturers of Disposable Syringes in the World and the largest for Auto Disable syringes, which scaling up production to a billion in the first half of 2021 as India gets ready for COVID-19 Vaccine has sent its first shipment of 56 million pieces of KOJAK Auto Disable Syringes to Covax facility as the race for a ‘safe and effective’ vaccine against coronavirus infection is on the horizon.

The Covax facility working for global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines which is a pooled procurement mechanism for new COVID-19 vaccines, through which COVAX will ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines for each participating economy has ordered 140 million KOJAK AD Syringes from HMD to be supplied between August and December 2020.  ‘We have   shipped out  more  than 56  million pieces   of 5   ml auto disabled (AD)  syringes  to Covax facility and will soon send the next shipment of 28 million syringes by October  end’ said Mr. Rajiv Nath, Managing Director of Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has taught the importance of infection prevention practices like hand-hygiene to all. The focus has shifted to single use disposable consumables from reuse consumables and especially a change has been seen in higher deployment of auto-disable syringes even for curative injections. WHO and UNICEF also recommended that auto-disable syringes be used for administering vaccine particularly in mass immunization programs. Moreover, WHO has suggested the use of auto-disable syringes to collect blood samples of Covid 19 patients, which in turn, helps to avoid the transmission of disease through healthcare equipment.

While HMD is all geared up to meet the Syringe demands, they are still waiting on the Indian government to start creating a stockpile of syringes as being done by other Countries.

“Should the government need 100 million KOJAK Auto-Disable Syringes for Covid-19 vaccines by the end of this year, we can easily offer them to lift the outstanding orders placed with us. However, Indian government is yet to make a move or ordering though they have started consulting manufacturer for spare capacity availability beyond the standard immunization programme. We plan to allocate 50% of the total 0.5 ML AD Syringes produced for the government of India and 50% for export as we have got a global responsibility too. But we would appreciate a clarity from the government soon,” added Mr. Nath.

With over 9 plants, HMD has created a niche for their disposable syringe ―DISPOVAN which is today the most popular brand in syringe market in India with over 60% market share with Dispovan Needle and Dispovan Insulin Syringes having over 70% Market Share and thereby displaced renowned MNC‘s – an inspirational case study for other Indian entrepreneurs.

HMD is one of the largest suppliers to UN Agencies like UNICEF, UNOPS for Auto Disable Syringes for immunization and is also the first Company in India to manufacture Auto Disable Syringes for Curative Segment.

In the last few days demand has come forward from other countries like Japan and US for disposable syringes and Indonesia for auto disposable syringes as the countries start to stockpile in anticipation of Covid vaccine. HMD has  planned to scale up its production capacity to one billion of 0.5 ML by middle of 2021 from 700 million    AD Syringes a year     as a commitment to produce billions of immunisation AD syringes for the global COVID-19 vaccination reinforcing the company’s vision to contribute to better healthcare in the country and internationally in areas of injection safety, patients safety, affordable access and stand with the country to fight  the deadly virus.

As India gets ready for COVID-19 vaccine, the Govt. should be well equipped with secured stock of syringes in advance to administer a vaccine when it is approved and ready. At least 60 to 70% of 1.3 Billion people in India and 7.8 Billion people Worldwide will need syringes for Covid-19 vaccine.

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