Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Mara moja katika maisha, mara nguni ni kifo

"Once is life, twice is death" in Swahili

FACT: In Africa, 20 million medical injections contaminated with blood from a patient with HIV are administered every year. (Source: Reid 2009) This is a problem so severe that the WHO (World Health Organisation) reports that 50% of all injections given globally are unsafe.

Four committed mums will climb Mount Kilimanjaro for the SafePoint Trust starting their climb on Thursday 28th October for nine days they will experience an example of virtually every ecosystem on earth. On the surface, not an unusual challenge to raise money for a charity; indeed they will blend into 25,000 people who set foot in Tanzania, every year, to climb Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. But the difference about this climb is the girls have one purpose - to give something back to the Tanzanian community.

They celebrate being the first all-mother group to climb the gruelling Western Beach route in support of the SafePoint Trust, a UK-based charity that uses information to solve basic healthcare problems – with a particular focus on unsafe injections. SafePoint runs hard-hitting public awareness campaigns, targeting both healthcare workers and the general public, increasing their knowledge of how to give and receive safe injections. SafePoint also actively lobbies for the change in legislation to using AD (Auto Disable) syringes only (International Standards Organization (ISO) standard AD syringes that can physically only be used once).

Money raised from this climb will benefit Tanzania directly; a substantial donation of AD syringes, compliant with the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), will be given to the Ministry to distribute and stock hospitals with a life saving product. Allowing the 33,000 healthcare workers that have already been trained to use AD syringes (under the John Snow Inc President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (JSI PEPFAR) project) to do their jobs properly, to save lives, not take them:

"Mara moja katika maisha, mara nguni ni kifo."

Used once is life, used twice is death.

The team of mums climbing have collectively ten children between them and hope that news of their climb and the SafePoint message will spread to all mothers in Tanzania to ensure that they demand for all their children and family members, the following:
  1. A syringe, is always taken from a new sterile packet
  2. Ensure it is used once only on the patient
  3. Then make sure it is safely disposed of in a sharps bin

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