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'K1 Auto-disable' syringe estimated to have saved five million lives in developing countries

20th May 2008

On Thursday, 15 May, Marc Koska (www.marckoska.com), founder and President of Sussex-based Star Syringe Ltd, will be joined by colleagues and friends from the medical, healthcare and charity sectors to celebrate Star Syringe’s ‘billennium’ – the production of Star’s billionth ‘K1 auto-disable’ syringe.

Star’s K1 auto-disable (AD) syringe (Notes to Editors) has been estimated by PATH (the international, non-profit organisation dedicated to improving health technologies in developing countries) to have saved over five million lives.

Star Syringe was founded in 1996, but Marc Koska first conceived the idea for a non re-usable syringe in the mid ‘80s. It took him more than a decade of hard slog to convince sceptical manufacturers and health bodies that he had a viable product.

“It’s been a long road to success, but I never thought about giving up?, he said. “It all started in 1984 when I read an article about the transmission of HIV via re-used needles and syringes. I did my homework: studying how addicts used syringes, visiting syringe factories and researching plastic moulding techniques. There were already designs for AD syringes, but they hadn’t been adopted by medical products manufacturers because the syringes were too expensive and difficult to make. My design addressed these problems but when I first approached big potential producers I got shown the door pretty quickly. And major international health bodies – some of whom are now endorsing the KI – were equally dismissive. It’s great to have been able to prove them all wrong. The KI syringe is now being made – via our Star Alliance group of manufacturers – all over the world.?

But Marc Koska isn’t content just to see his company grow, he’s also the founder and prime mover of SafePoint (www.safepointtrust.org Notes to Editors), a charitable trust dedicated to educating children and healthcare workers in the developing world about how they can protect themselves when receiving and giving injections. Marc’s work with SafePoint was recognised in 2006 when he was awarded an OBE for his contribution to global healthcare.

“One child dies every 24 seconds from unsafe injections. SafePoint’s aim is to empower people with an understanding of the risks of not using auto-disposable syringes. I don’t care whether people are using my AD design or a competitor’s. SafePoint is all about spreading the word to end-users and health policy makers about how to use syringes safely.? Marc has made regular trips to India, Pakistan and Indonesia to promote the SafePoint message.


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Article Information

Title: 'K1 Auto-disable' syringe estimated to have saved five million lives in developing countries
Author: Laura E
Article Id: 6838
Date Added: 20th May 2008

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