Harm Reduction Coalition Policy Statement on Auto-Disable Syringes Dr Sharon Stancliff, Medical Director - New York Office
Auto-disable syringes WHO-UNICEF-UNFPA joint statement (1999) –By the end of 2003, all countries should use only auto- disable syringes for administering all immunizations UNICEF (2001) – No longer enter into procurement contracts for standard disposable syringes WHO guidelines for single use syringes (2007) –Reuse prevention syringes prequalify for procurement
WHO: Safe syringes for injection safety 1. Reuse Prevention Feature a)Auto-disable b) Breaking plunger 2. Reuse and Needle Stick Prevention Features a)Needle Stick Prevention b) Retractable syringes
Issues Several countries moving towards exclusive import of auto-disable syringes Syringe procurement strategies that don’t take the needs of PWID into account Difficulty of “being heard” in countries where PWID don’t have a voice
Unintended consequences Reduced availability of standard disposable syringes Auto-disable syringes generally not suited to drug preparation and injection Modification of auto-disable syringes Difficult to effectively clean Circumvent auto-disable feature by sharing before plunger fully depressed
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