Andhra Pradesh launches auto disable syringes for clinical injections

Andhra Pradesh has become the first Indian state to launch auto-disable syringes for all clinical purposes and its government has declared the state as “Safety Injection Use State"

Image for representational purpose only.

New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh government in May 2018 passed an order to use Auto-Disable Syringes for all clinical purposes and to declare the State of Andhra Pradesh as “Safety Injection Use State”. Keeping the promise, the Health Medical and Family Welfare Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh has launched the “AD Syringes for Patient Safety” at a conference held in AP Secretariat, Amaravati, the state capital.

As a part of the program a “Panel discussions on Patient Safety” was also organized. The objective of the Panel Discussions was to bring together Policy makers, Experts, Patient’s Networks, NGOs and civil society to provide an opportunity to review the underlying systematic issues affecting patient safety, share experiences in addressing barriers and creating solution to strengthen systems and improve practices.

Dr (Col) HS Ratti, an epidemiologist and Project Advisor to Safe Point applauded the Andhra Pradesh government for becoming the first Indian state to launch auto-disable syringes for all clinical purposes. The elated Dr HS Ratti, said, “I congratulate AP Govovernment for implementing this important initiative. We are honoured and excited to partner with IAPG (Indian Alliance of Patient Groups) and Govt. of Andhra Pradesh to offer training programs to the healthcare workers of AP on correct and best Injection practices to avoid preventable infections.”

Dr Jitendar Sharma, Advisor for Health & Medical Technology, Government of AP and MD and CEO of AMTZ said, “With advancement in medical technology the patient safety profile have also changed. While modern technology brings advanced safety it also brings new complexity. Govt. of AP endeavors to find technological solutions to progressively and positively impact the safety of patients and care providers.”

Ms Poonam Malakondaiah, Special Chief Secretary, Health, Govt. of AP mentioned, “Govt. of AP has launched numerous interventions like RFID for eliminating errors due to patient identification, Auto-Disable Syringes to reduce infections and many other technological interventions. Govt. of AP remains committed to work with stakeholders to set new quality benchmarks in healthcare”

Dr Ratna Devi, Founding member, Indian Alliance of Patient Groups (IAPG) is delighted that states are taking the lead to ensure patient safety. She commended AP Govt’s AD Syringes initiative and hopes that this will prompt other states to follow.

“We urge the Central government and all States to switch to AD syringes an initiative led by Andhra Govt. Infections due to unsafe injections is unacceptable. This is a core component of quality that should be addressed adequately to ensure Universal Healthcare,” she added

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), informed Dr HS Ratti, Advisor to Safe Point.

“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,” said Dr Ratna Devi.

India consumes over 4 Billion Syringes per year of which an INCLEN study done had found nearly 60 percent as unsafe and one third being reused. Addressing the unsafe injection practices is an important public health agenda, especially in low and middle income countries.