This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Firm Advocates Needle Management With Sharpx

It has been noted that one major danger suffered by health care workers globally is needle stick injuries, which sometimes place them at the risk of infection of such diseases as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis G Virus (HGV) and the Hepatitis C Virus.

For instance, in the United States of America, a conveyor in the recycling center in Johnston was shut down every half an hour just to ensure that the syringes were removed without harming the employees.

Also in Rhodes Island, the needle stick injuries cannot be over emphasized; the Diabetes foundation in Rhodes Island lost 250,000 US dollars annually, simply on providing safety box to pharmacies for needle disposal, yet the numerous challenges on needle sharp injuries remained.

And in Medical Academic Center Netherlands, an evidence based study from a randomized control trial (H. F. Vandermolen and et al, 2011) concluded that introducing a double process procedure of an auto destruct (AD) sharp devices could pose serious danger that must be prevented.

However, in Nigeria, a voluntary, confidential questionnaire was circulated to 150 Nurses at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, asking about their experiences with needle stick injuries, circumstances, and re-occurrences. A large percentage of the respondents reported at least one needle stick injury.

Due to epidemiological issues arising from these needle sharps, researchers embarked on a study which eventually led to the discovery of "sharpx", a newly hypodermic scientific disposable device that solves the numerous challenges arising from disposing needle sharp.

Sharpx is an auto destruct hospital disposable device used in oxidizing and sterilizing used or infected hypodermic 16G - 30G syringe needles by dissolving each needle to dust at 1500 Celsius in three seconds.

The sharpx has a container chamber inside, where the dust from the dissolution of needle is collected for disposal. It is designed in a way that it can be cleaned and used again after disposing the initial dust. Therefore, its significance is to protect the health care workers from infections such as HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis diseases by avoiding recapping of infected needle sharps after usage.

Therefore, to improve on the safety of health care workers in hospitals and all health settings in Nigeria, Eloke Onyebuchi, a United Kingdom trained public health specialist and Principal Consultant of Onyibupet Consulting Limited insists that the federal and state Governments should make provisions for sharpx in all primary and secondary health facilities in Nigeria to reduce sharps handling by health workers by avoiding recapping of syringe needles.

"In practise, this will ensure efficient services and basic quality health care to assure the common man that resorts to local hospitals of his safety from contacting infections through sharps," he stated.

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