One man injects safety into health centers

By Aishwarya Mishra|9th May 2009
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[Article Source : Business Standard]

Of the 5 billion medical injections administered in India every year, 62 percent are unsafe – startling figure that brought Marc Koska, inventor of non reusable K1 syringes, to India

This is how the article starts – one of the innumerable “startling” facts waiting to jolt the social entrepreneur inside us into action. With the population at large struggling for basic necessities, medical care and medical safety get relegated to the background and even numbers like 300,000 – the number of people killed as a consequence of usage of unclean syringes – seems adjustable.

However, this particular fact jolted Marc Koska into action. Marc heads the company, Star Syringe – which pioneered the non reusable K1 auto-disable syringe and also spearheads the UK-based charity SafePoint.

SafePoint spearheaded a campaign across the country in November last year, which propelled the government to make the use of Auto Disable (AD) syringes mandatory in all public health centres from April 30

While reading the article I was inclined to think of the ban on smoking in public places and wanted to know what if this directive too went the same way. The last paragraph provides an answer – “At the moment, not using AD syringes is not a punishable offence”

Social entrepreneurs play a vital role in goading the government to take cognizance of issues of the land and pass legislation to tackle them. However, in a country like India, passing the legislation is, but, just a start. We also need to ensure that laws are implemented in the spirit.

On the sidelines – Read this article while reading up on Marc Koska. Incidentally, I also read an article on Social Edge a couple of days back “Are the Only Innovations in Social Entrepreneurship Anglo-Saxon?“. I have not yet taken a side in this interesting debate. At the same time I want to mention it at this point because sometimes there are underlying reasons why the very same facts have varying affects on various people. The same incident can be life-changing for one and life-as-usual for another. Something for us to chew on!

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