Melissa Dewberry enjoys doing crossword puzzles, walking her cat and pondering ways to patch up the hole in the ozone layer.
After a British entrepreneur played the health minister undercover footage of children being injected with used needles, Tanzania will be the first country in the world to exclusively use syringes that self-destruct.
Marc Koska, the designer of an auto-disable syringe and founder of a charity called Safe-Point, went to the Tanzanian government with a recording showing a nurse injecting a man who had HIV and syphilis with antibiotics — and then re-using the needle on a one-year-old baby.
After viewing the footage, the minister of health said: “What are we talking about here? [...] What’s the solution? Let’s get on with it.”
Koska hopes to persuade four more east African countries – Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda – to make the switch to self-destructing syringes before he takes the lifesaving device worldwide.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), some 1.3 million people die every year because of the re-use of syringes, a number that is higher than the number of malaria-related deaths in the same time frame.
“This is not a mosquito-borne disease. This is man-made,” Koska said.
The re-use of syringes also takes an economic toll. There are 20 million transmissions of hepatitis that cost $119 billion annually in medical and lost production costs. In Africa alone, there are also roughly 20 million injections contaminated with HIV given every year. In the developing world, every syringe is used on average four times.
Read more at the Guardian.