USAID awards $6 million to support medical injection safety programs
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today awarded $6 million in funds to enhance medical injection safety programs to reduce the transmission of HIV in developing countries, sometimes the result of unsafe and unnecessary medical injections. The awards will support projects operating in six African countries - Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria and Uganda -- as part of the $15 billion President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 16 billion medical injections are administered in developing countries every year. Injections, however, are not always given in a safe manner and can expose the client, the provider, and the community to avoidable health risks. Of particular concern is the re-use of syringes and needles in the absence of sterilization, leading to transmission of blood-borne diseases including hepatitis B, hepatitis C infections, and HIV.
"The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is focused on achieving the goals of treating at least two million HIV-infected persons with anti-retroviral therapy, preventing seven million new infections and caring for 10 million persons infected with or affected by HIV," said USAID Administrator Andrew S. Natsios. "Through all of our efforts, treating and caring for individuals in a safe, effective manner is a top priority."
USAID partner organizations Chemonics International and John Snow, Inc., and University Research Corporation have each received awards to improve medical injection safety through provider training, logistics management, reduction of unnecessary injections, and improved health care waste disposal. To support these improvement initiatives, the partners will conduct assessments of injection and supply management practices, support the development of national policies, and establish monitoring and evaluation systems to accurately determine progress.
Specifically, Chemonics International is implementing a $1.3 million injection safety project in Zambia; John Snow, Inc., is applying $3.9 million in funds toward work in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nigeria and Uganda; and the University Research Co., LLC started work on their $800,000 injection safety project in Namibia.
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