Egypt is banning regular syringes and moving exclusively to using self-destruct ones next year, the health ministry has said.
Regular syringes can be used more than once, leading to the spread of a number of infectious diseases. But smart or auto-destruct syringes have features that prevent re-use by causing the plunger to break after one use or retracting the needle at the end of the injection so it cannot be used again.
The decision by health minister Hala Zayed, planned to come into effect in June 2020, is designed to curb the spread of contagious diseases, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday. It is also a bid to maintain the favourable outcomes of Egypt’s extensive campaign to detect and treat Hepatitis C which aims to eliminate the disease by 2022, it added.
The move means Egypt will need an average of 2 billion self-destruct syringes annually and will have to work on its strategic reserves of the item, the ministry said
More than two million people were infected with diseases including HIV and hepatitis C in 2010 due to the use of unsafe injection, according to date released by WHO in 2015.
Egypt’s decision comes amid a move by WHO urging countries to transition to the exclusive use of the smart syringes by 2020.