Monday, 30 August 2010

Have you ever witnessed an unsafe injection?

The problem of unsafe injections, where syringes are re-used on patients by doctors and other healthcare workers, is not just an issue of the developing world; it's global and is needlessly killing 1.3 million people every year.

Some used needles and a syringe, ready to be used again

Here's an excerpt from Marc Koska's DLD talk on this subject in February 2010:

"The re-use of syringes kills 1.3 million people by transmitting viruses from one patient to another. It actually results in also 23 million cases of Hepatitis B and you can imagine the cost of treating that on a global scale, and that’s a cumulative number; 23 million cases every single year. Syringes on average are used around 4 times in the developing world and it's just unacceptable, so I decided to do something about it. In fact it kills more people than malaria, which currently kills about 1 million a year."

Very recently, a dentist in the UK was caught reusing his syringes (to cut costs), as was a New York Anesthesiologist - so you can see that this is also a problem in the West.

No matter where you are in the world, if you witness a healthcare worker giving an unsafe injection (where the needle and/or syringe - rather than being taken out of a new sterile pack - has already been used on another patient), we want to know about it.

Please contact us (in complete confidence - we will not reveal your identity to anyone) via and let us have as many details as possible; when it happened: where it happened; name of healthcare worker; name of patient and anything else you think we ought to know. We will investigate it and do everything we can to prevent it from happening to anyone else.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Ain't No Mountain High Enough!

4 mums climb Kilimanjaro to get 2m syringes donated to Tanzania
Clare Beale, Catherine English, Ginny Simpson and Anna Koska

Four brave mums are aiming high for SafePoint - they plan to climb Kilimanjaro at the end of October raising enough money to donate 2 Million AD syringes to Tanzania.

Marc Koska launched the Climb with the help of David Downard from Mountain Range Restaurants back in May and since then, offers of support have been overwhelming.

Flags will accompany the mums on the climb and are being sold for £5,000. One flag will protect 35,000 people against unsafe healthcare.

For more information or to download a sponsorship pack, email:

Watch the girls in training: click here.

Spread the word and forward this film

We make no apologies for immediately asking you to do one small thing upon reading this blog post.

Your support is invaluable in helping us bring to light the devastating consequences that unsafe injection practices can have.

Please take two minutes out of your day and click here ( to see the most recent film Marc has made on the issue of injection safety.

Safe Injection Message


Click here to Comment on this video, and Favourite, Rate and Share it in YouTube

In it, you'll hear how fatal diseases like HIV and Hepatitis are most often spread by unsafe injections and by the everyday actions of heatlhcare workers in millions of under funded clinics in developing countries.

We would ask you please to watch the film, and then forward the link to as many friends and family as you can.

We know from our work over the past 25 years that awareness prompts action.

We're aiming to reach our target of 10 million lives saved this year, and we need your help to do so.

Thank you!

What is LifeSaver?

LifeSaver is a campaign that is inviting all global AD (auto-disable) syringe manufacturers to include the new LifeSaver logo and message "New Packet. Used Once. Safely Disposed" on all their packaging. LifeSaver represents the procedure given by a health worker and received by a patient, and can be simply adopted, free of charge, by any organisation. The logo is distinctive and easily recognized, and will act as a unique guarantee of a safe injection.

For more information, see

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Syringe re-use: not just a developing world problem - it's a global problem

A UK dentist in south Yorkshire reused his old syringes on patients

Dentist: Mohammed Siddiqui

Excerpt from From The Star newspaper:

A SOUTH Yorkshire dentist put patients at risk of deadly infection by reusing syringes, not wearing gloves and using rusty tools and filthy rags.

Mohammed Siddiqui, aged 37, from High Green, faces being struck off after he flouted hygiene rules to "maximise profit" at his Rotherham practice.

A Primary Health Lists appeal tribunal heard he reused disposable equipment, including syringes, files and impression trays, had rusty tools and "actively discouraged" the use of gloves.

Sterilising equipment was "caked" in grime and mouth wash cups were next to the waste disposal system. Surfaces were thick with dust.

Inspectors found he had no blood spillage kit or policy, his decontamination area was "not fit for purpose" and had filthy rags and scrubbing brushes.

Andrew Hockton, for Rotherham PCT, said Siddiqui was cutting corners to save money. The PCT and the Health Protection Agency is probing whether patients caught viruses.

Mr Hockton said: "Dr Siddiqui showed a total lack of regard for patient or staff safety. The inspector said it was one of the worst examples she had ever seen.

"He desired to maximise profit in a manner which put patients at risk."

Mr Siddiqui, of Reaper Crescent, High Green, set up the business on Doncaster Road, Dalton, in 2002. He was shut down after an inspection in May last year.

Siddiqui had received a letter from the PCT in April saying his practice needed a "deep clean". He removed out-of-date stock before the inspection, failed to co-operate during it and later tried to create the impression his staff were to blame.

Mr Hockton said: "He showed a wilful disregard of the principles of good dental practice and he accepts serious professional misconduct. We say that the only appropriate action is removal."

Excerpt from

A dentist based in Dalton, Rotherham, faces being struck off after an inspection uncovered poor infection control practise and the reuse of single-use equipment, including syringes, files and impression trays.

Mohammed Siddiqui was immediately suspended from the NHS Rotherham dental performers list after former staff raised issues about his infection control standards in 2009, prompting NHS Rotherham and the Health and Safety Executive to conduct an unannounced inspection in May 2009. This means he is not allowed to practise NHS dentistry in Rotherham.

Andrew Hockton, for Rotherham PCT, said Siddiqui was cutting corners to save money. The PCT and the Health Protection Agency is probing whether patients caught viruses.

Further reading:

Thursday, 5 August 2010

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Join the SafePoint team online and receive all of Marc’s updates as and when they happen.

He and his colleagues are busily tweeting at and, plus two recently launched SafePoint video channels on Vimeo and YouTube. These are yet more outlets for all of Safepoint's powerful video footage (including a shocking undercover film of needle re-use captured in hospitals) and will continually evolve, so make sure you visit regularly.

If Facebook is more your thing, then connect with Marc here and with SafePoint here.