Ugandan patients who were at the risk of acquiring diseases through unsafe injections should brace themselves for a solution to their problems
Dr. Alex Kamugisha, the state minister for primary health care, launched a five-year Injection Safety and Medical Waste Management Project (ISMWMP) worth US$900,000 (about sh1.6b) at Mpigi district headquarters yesterday.
The Ministry of health and US Agency for International Development (USAID) are implementing the project piloted in Nebbi, Mbarara, Pallisa and Mpigi districts for 10 months before it spreads to other districts.
Kamugisha said although many patients preferred injections to tablets, the former posed a lot of danger as it could transmit blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis b and C and HIV.
He said the re-use of syringes and needles would no longer be possible as the new syringes would disable themselves after use. He said the ministry also planned to introduce extractable syringe types to avoid their re-use.
It is estimated that in Africa, adults receive on average more than two injections annually, between 17-18% of whom are injected with re-used, unsterilised needles and syringes.
â€œUnsterilised syringes and needles are dangerous not only to patients but also to health workers, who could easily be prickled in the process. Unfortunately, injections are often provided when the medication could be given orally,â€ Kamugisha said.
Quoting injection safety studies by the ministry of Health in Mbarara and Busoga regions, Kamugisha said over 40% of health workers got injuries annually, resulting from injections. He added that the studies had also revealed that 50-90% of all curative injections prescribed were not necessary.
Govt launches injection safety project