Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Marc's TEDMED Talk inspires Blog in Wall Street Journal

Marc had the pleasure of speaking at TEDMED in San Diego recently. To hear more about his talk and the global problem of syringe re-use, read the blog written by Katherine Hobson, in The Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

SafePoint Tanzania Awareness Campaign Gets Underway

The SafePoint supporters reach Uhuru Peak, Tanzania

All-mother group successfully conquers Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of the dangers of syringe re-use in Tanzania

East Sussex, United Kingdom - The four intrepid supporters of the SafePoint Trust – Anna Koska, Nicoletta Iacobacci, Clare Beale and Catherine English – have recently triumphed in their mission to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. And not only have they completed this gruelling challenge in an impressive time, they are also celebrating being the first all-mother group to climb the feared Western Beach route. Congratulations ladies!

But now the hard work really begins. The SafePoint team has begun rolling out a hard-hitting campaign across Tanzania to raise awareness of the dangers of syringe re-use. Using one syringe to treat many patients is one of the single biggest causes of death in the developing world, and causes millions of infections each year in Africa and the rest of the developing world.

On their descent, the ladies travelled to Dar es Salaam where they called a press conference, attended by 25 major Tanzanian TV and radio channels. They informed their captivated audience why they took on the challenge to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, and their decision to raise money to donate single use (AD) syringes to Tanzania. Their climb has raised funds to contribute to their supplies in compliance with the ECSA resolution*.

Famous celebrity and comedian, Masanja, assisted the ladies in the press conference by demonstrating the three-point SafePoint message, taken from the WHO injection safety guidelines as per the diagram below.

New Packet, Used Once, Safely Disposed

Masanja validated the importance of safe injections and said, “I decided to help SafePoint make a public awareness film as I am a proud Tanzanian, and know that in the village where I come from, many people are unaware of unsafe injection practices.

“I hope that this film encourages healthcare workers to use a new syringe each time they give an injection, and that it informs our parents and children on the risks they take if they don’t demand one. To all fans of the Orijino Komedi Show, make sure you never have an unsafe injection again and spread the message for me.”

Yet, despite clear evidence pointing to significant numbers of deaths caused by a lack of injection safety procedures in many hospitals and medical centres in Tanzania, talks to date with Health Ministers in the country have remained unsuccessful. Marc Koska OBE, founder of the SafePoint Trust, originally met with the Hon Prof David Mwakyusa back in March 2010. At this meeting, the Hon Minister gladly accepted the donation of the film from SafePoint, and agreed to create a campaign to air it. But since this meeting, Marc has been met with closed doors and unable to progress with discussions further. For the SafePoint team, it is extremely frustrating, as they are only too aware from their experiences in other countries that public awareness is paramount to the changeover to single-use syringes.

Elections have taken precedence within the Tanzanian Health Authority, with little or no reference given to the unacceptable ‘unsafe injection’ culture. Also this week, Mr Deo Mtasiwa, Chief Medical Officer of Tanzania, stated his belief that no diseases have been spread through injection re-use.

While SafePoint appreciates the positive actions that have taken place in Tanzania to address the problem, such as the training of thousands of nurses, his claim is one that SafePoint rejects. Their view is backed by the announcement at the Annual meeting of The Safe Injection Global Network (SIGN) that a staggering 14% of all HIV infections are a direct result of unsafe injections.

Injection safety needs to move up the agenda, fast. Medical staff urgently need the resources to save lives; not to take them. Cost isn’t the issue - the cost of an AD syringe is 100 Shillings in Tanzania; the cost of a popular soft drink is 500 Shillings. “Mara moja katika maisha, mara nguni ni kifo.” A syringe used once is life. Used twice is death.

For more information, please contact:

Ginny Simpson
SafePoint Trust UK
The Granary
East Sussex
TN22 3HW

+44 (0)1825 713722

*Note: The ECSA (East Central Southern African Regions) resolution, passed and proposed by SafePoint in 2007, was signed by all 10 ECSA regions. Countries were to scale up their injection safety programmes by November 2009. SafePoint has already made and donated a public information film, with the support of SafePoint Ambassador, Masanja.

Background Notes to Editors:

Safepoint is a charity set up with a purpose to educate the next generation in safe healthcare.

This is done by delivering hard-hitting public awareness campaigns. We've done this to huge effect in India in 2008, resulting (April 2009) in the Health Minister mandating the use of Auto Disable (AD) syringes throughout all government-run hospitals. To date, Marc Koska, Founder of SafePoint, has been credited with saving well over 9 million lives.

Why Tanzania?

Tanzania is at the forefront of safe healthcare in Africa and will soon be the second country to convert over to Auto Disable (AD) syringes in the ECSA Region. With their policy already in place, trained healthcare workers and a public information film donated by SafePoint featuring Tanzanian celebrity and SafePoint supporter Masanja, they are ready to reduce the country's medical costs and ease the HIV/Hepatitis disease burden.

We climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to kick off Phase One of this new campaign – the raising of public awareness of the dangers of syringe re-use in Tanzania through all forms of media. We'll be visiting schools, orphanages and hospitals to talk with children, teachers and healthcare workers alike, getting the simple message of ‘one injection - one syringe’ across and donating syringes to kick start their participation in the campaign.

Facts and figures on unsafe healthcare

• Each and every year, due to unsafe injections, there are:
  • 230,000 HIV Infections
  • 1,000,000 Hepatitis C Infections
  • 21,000,000 Hepatitis B Infections
  • Resulting in 1,300,000 deaths each year
(Source: WHO World Health Organisation)

• Some 17 billion medical injections are given each year, and 7 billion of these are unsafe
(Source: Hutin 2003)

• Malaria kills 1,000,000 - so this silent epidemic – unsafe injections - kills even more people each year
(Source: WHO World Health Organisation)

• In Africa, 20 million medical injections, contaminated with blood from a patient with HIV, are administered every year
(Source: Reid 2009)

• At least 50% of all injections given, world wide, are unsafe
(Source: WHO World Health Organisation)

• A syringe is used on average 4 times in the developing world

• Every 24 seconds, a child dies as a result of an unsafe injection

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

A big Thank You to the Kiliwarriors from SafePoint and our "Kili Moms"

SafePoint and our amazing mum's (also known as "The SafePoint Chizi (crazy) ladies") would like to extend a massive thank-you to the Kiliwarriors.

Our brave mums were cared for every step of the way and couldn't recommend Kiliwarriors highly enough (pardon the pun!).

Anna Koska, Clare Beale, Nicoletta Iacobacci and Catherine Villeneuve summited Kilimajaro a day ahead of schedule and enjoyed the whole experience from beginning to end.

To view their blog as they climbed, or to follow others who are embarking on this amazing experience with Kiliwarriors visit: Kiliwarriors Facebook

Marc joins an impressive line-up at Jeremy Gilley's up and coming Speaker's Event

Marc will be talking at the "Unleash Your Power of Influence" speaker's event hosted by Peace One Day & Triumphant Events.

“The next event is during the day on Friday 19 November in central London. It really is a win-win situation,” said Jeremy, “anyone who comes will get the chance to learn from some true visionaries; there are speeches, interviews, Q&A sessions and informal chats – it’s a fantastic opportunity for anyone who’s interested in their own personal growth – in business and in life. At the same time people can know that all the profits generated on the day go back to POD to help keep the organisation going”.

The 19 November event is entitled “Unleash Your Power of Influence”. The line up is impressive; speakers include Marc Koska OBE (Star Syringe), Sam Roddick (founder of Coco de Mer), Simon Woodroffe OBE (YO! Sushi), Daniel Priestley (Triumphant Events / Author), Steve Bolton (Platinum Property Partners), and of course Jeremy.

The speaker’s events also provide people with an opportunity to find out more detail about Peace One Day, our objectives and strategy.

“Many people who attend our speaker’s events become Peace One Day Patrons,” Jeremy told me, “these are an extraordinary group of like-minded individuals who are able to get behind Peace One Day with financial and strategic support. Many of the speakers themselves are Patrons. I think what we’re seeing, through the speaker’s events and the POD Patrons Programme, is a growing community of people who want to see Peace One Day succeed in making Peace Day known and observed throughout the world. I’m incredibly grateful. For anyone interested, please come to the speaker’s event on 19 November and find out what it’s all about!”

For tickets to the next Peace One Day speaker’s event on Friday19November,visit:


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Marc makes the top 10 Inspiring Summit Stories at The Daily Beast

Marc talking at The Innovators Summit

8. Marc Koska’s P.R. Campaign

One of the most inspiring things to come out of The Daily Beast Innovators Summit was the persistent argument from entrepreneurs that helping the world can be more than an act of grace—it’s also great business. Koska, for example, is the inventor of the K1 syringe, a non-reusable and auto-disposable syringe that took more than 17 years to develop but has since been credited with helping to save 9 million lives. In the developing world, Koska explains, the average syringe is reused four times, frequently in hospitals. One place where this problem was endemic was India, where 62 percent of injections in hospitals were carried out using dirty needles. Unfortunately, Koska just couldn’t get the minister of health to acknowledge the problem. “I asked for a meeting and he said no,” Koska recalls. “I asked him for another meeting and he said no…We hit a brick wall.” Rather than accept defeat, Koska started a PR campaign to shame the minister into reacting. “We made a film that dramatically showed the problem, and we were able to show this on television five and a half thousand times,” he says. “We had radio announcements from a very famous celebrity in India, we had 14 press conferences, 240 newspaper articles, and we were able to do that in a five-day period. Net result? “Seven hundred million people saw the message, and the minister saw me straightaway.” Soon after, the reluctant bureaucrat mandated the use of non-reusable needles (there are about 10 brands, aside from Koska’s); the law has now gone into effect in 11 Indian cities with an aggregate population of 250 million people.

To watch Marc at The Daily Beast click here: http://vimeo.com/16169642

Taken from "10 Inspiring Summit Stories" by Jacob Bernstein at The Daily Beast

Friday, 5 November 2010

The Climb:Tanzania - Day 9

Catherine English, Nicoletta Iacobacci, Anna Koska and Clare Beale on Uhuru Peak, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, 19,341 ft above sea level - 3 November 2010

The Kili Mums celebrating their achievement with new-found friends

We did it! xxx

Text from Clare: Nov. 5
We are down. We have our certificates and these guys are shouting "one injection, one syringe!" They had no idea of the danger. Most of them have children and they are ready to make changes. We are all crying xx

Kiliwarrior Expeditions Mountain Report: Nov. 5
The ladies had a 5.5 mile descent to Mweka Gate today where they celebrated receiving their summit certificates! They are now back at their hotel in Arusha. Congratulations again on their successful charity climb for SafePoint!

Marc Koska: Nov.5
Well done to Anna, Nicoletta, Catherine and Clare! Now get back to work! Marc xxxx

Nick English: Nov. 5
Well done Miss V, Anna, Nicoletta and Clare. Very impressed back here! No pressure for next challenge?!!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Climb:Tanzania - Day 8

The Kili Mums have done it!

Kiliwarrior Expeditions Mountain Report: Nov. 4
Congrats to Anna, Nicoletta, Clare and Catherine! They all reached the summit yesterday afternoon! Today they made the long steep descent to Mweka Camp (10,145 ft) where they spend their last night on the mountain. They are happy and celebrating! They are now calling themselves the Safepoint Chizi (crazy) ladies! I am sure there will be lots of celebrating at camp tonight! It's a grand achievement for them!

Nik Miti: Nov. 4
im proud of you mom! you reached yet another goal you set yourself!

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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Climb:Tanzania - Day 7

Text from Clare: Nov. 3
On way up to crater at 18,500. V steep rock climbing.

Kiliwarrior Expeditions Mountain Report: Nov. 3
The Kili Moms conquered the Breach and they reached Crater Camp (18500 ft) under partly sunny skies! They are now experiencing the stunning, awesome glaciers of Kilimanjaro! They are planning to hike to the summit this afternoon!

Marc Koska: Nov. 3
Well Done Mums! We are all cheering you on back at climbing HQ. Love to all of you. Mx

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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The Climb:Tanzania - Day 6

The first photo we've received from the Kili Mums: can you work out who's who?

Kiliwarrior Expeditions Mountain Report: Nov. 2
Anna, Nicoletta, Clare and Catherine had a short 1.5 mile hike to Arrow Glacier Camp (15,978ft.) today. Everyone is doing well! The weather is still cloudy with some snow falling. Best wishes to the "Kili Moms" on the breach tomorrow! They will be up very early tomorrow morning long before th...e sun comes up to start their trek around 5am.

Text from Clare: Nov. 2
Signal really bad. Going for summit a dat early. Tough going for me today. Huge day tomorrow climbing 1km in a day.

Christina Warren: Nov. 2
Yoo hoo! I know you won't be picking this up for a while but just to let you know I am thinking of you as you are climbing! Be safe. Tina xx

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Monday, 1 November 2010

The Climb:Tanzania - Day 5

Kilimanjaro Lemosho Western Breach Route Map from eben schoeman on Vimeo.

Our Kili Mums are taking the Lemosho/Shira/Western Breach route. It lasts 9 days and is the best way to experience the thrill of climbing Kilimanjaro. It is one of the least crowded routes, it is one of the most fascinating and it is long enough to provide proper acclimatization. It is essentially the same route as the IMAX team used during the filming of "Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa". The Western Breach route is more risky due to the potential for rock falls, which is why climbers are asked to wear helmets.

Kiliwarrior Expeditions Mountain Report: Nov. 1
Second day at Sheffield Camp. Instead of resting today the group opted to go on an acclimatization hike. Lava Tower was a bit too snowy and icy to climb today. The weather is cloudy and foggy with some snow expected.

Gary Mott: Nov.1
Bite em back the little buggers, they won't like that. Glad you're all well and in high spirits, sounds like you're all enjoying the experience, keep it up. Will keep following your adventure and will write again soon X

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