Success Story: Ensuring the Availability of Safe Injection Commodities in Nigeria
Ensuring the Availability of Safe Injection Commodities in Nigeria
Safety boxes are inexpensive puncture proof cardboard containers for the safe disposal of sharps waste, including used needles and syringes. Ensuring the availability of supplies of safety boxes is key in preventing the spread of HIV and other blood-borne diseases through safe disposal of sharps. A 2004 national injection safety assessment, conducted by the Making Medical Injections Safer project (funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the U.S. Agency for International Development) and in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, found that nearly two-thirds of health facilities did not have a safety box available. In response, the project (now implemented as AIDSTAR-One) introduced safety boxes into curative health services and trained facility staff on how to use them.
There is now demand for these safety boxes in health facilities across Nigeria. To ensure commodity security and sustainability, AIDSTAR-One employed a strategy to technically strengthen the local capacity of the private sector in Nigeria to meet demand and streamline the procurement process in order to achieve cost savings and accessibility. To that end, AIDSTAR-One provided technical assistance to local manufacturing industries to produce safety boxes that meet international safety standards.
First Medical & Sterile Products Industries Ltd. is an example of one manufacturer in Nigeria that has recognized the market potential for medical waste management solutions and has invested in developing products. The company received technical assistance from AIDSTAR-One at various stages of production of the safety boxes and is currently producing the commodity which has been submitted to the World Health Organization to obtain certification. AIDSTAR-One’s assistance in improving the quality of the product helped increase the availability of safe injection supplies in the country.
In a letter to AIDSTAR-One’s Country Director, Mr. Nnadi, the Managing Director of the company, wrote: “Indeed, we owe the present success and progress of our safety box business to the encouragement and support received from AIDSTAR-One at the early stages of our development work…Thanks to AIDSTAR-One, when the safety box market opened up, the high quality of our product became the obvious advantage in our favor.”
AIDSTAR-One successfully linked health facilities with the company immediately following health facility training so that managers knew where they could procure safety boxes locally. A Laboratory Scientist, Badung Bitrus PAM (Jos University Teaching Hospital) noted, “the safety boxes are of high quality, it is a good thing that we now have a local manufacturing company in Nigeria.”
Disclaimer: The authors' views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.