(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The UAE has shipped 6.2 million syringes to Nepal and Tanzania in an effort to curb the spread of injection-related illnesses. The announcement on the effort was made recently in Dubai under the patronage of Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Dr Amin Al Amiri of the Ministry of Health, who was present during the announcement, cited statistics from the World Health Organization, which indicate unsafe injection practices lead to 21 million hepatitis B cases, 2 million hepatitis C cases and around 260,000 new HIV cases worldwide every year.
He added that nearly 16 billion syringes are used annually across the developing world and 70 per cent of those syringes are reused, leading to the spread of illnesses such hepatitis and HIV and Aids.
The syringes were shipped out this year, with the last shipment going out two days before the announcement. Donations of over Dh1 million from an array of UAE companies contributed to the effort. All the syringes are auto disabled for repeated use, using a technology inhibiting their reuse, Al Amiri said.
"The purpose of the initiative is to purchase auto-disabled syringes to support developing countries " to eliminate the dissemination of infectious diseases," he said. Both Tanzania and Nepal were selected by the World Health Organization to be the recipients of the syringes, Al Amiri noted.
Around four million syringes were shipped to Nepal and two million were shipped to Tanzania. The ambassadors of both countries were present during the announcement and applauded the UAE for the effort.