AD Syringes




  Meeting real

  humanitarian needs,

  economically viable,

  locally owned

  and managed —

  the Port Harcourt AD

  syringe factory offers

  every promise of

  permanent success.

  Countless lives

  will be saved and,

  in the process, local

  self-reliance and

  pride can only grow.


By establishing an auto-disable (AD) syringe factory near Port Harcourt, Nigeria, PAHF has begun enabling a significant reduction in the incidence of needle-transmitted diseases — thus, improving the health of the Nigerian people and, through factory exports, people elsewhere in West Africa. In addition, the project alleviates poverty among the local people: and important result in and of itself and, given the link between poverty and disease, a result that also fosters improved health over the long term. Finally, the factory serves as a model public/private partnership within the NEPAD framework.

Better Health

Completed during 2009, the factory is providing a reliable, affordable supply of “safe syringes” — self-destructing AD syringes — as an alternative to the re-usable syringes still too-widely employed in Nigeria’s poorer clinics. Specifically:

 Increased availability of AD syringes: WHO cites the inadequate supply of AD syringes in Africa as one of the major factors contributing to the high incidence of needle-transmitted diseases. Each year, the PAHF-established factory is producing up to 160 million AD syringes: enough to have a substantial impact within Nigeria. The factory’s administrative and funding structures are ensuring its sustainability and, by extension, increasing AD syringe availability over the long term.

 Improved affordability of AD syringes:
By producing syringes locally, that is, eliminating import-related costs, the factory is reducing the price per syringe by as much as 10 percent. Affordability also improves because Nigerian distributors are able to purchase the syringes with local currency, rather than scarce foreign-currency reserves. Finally, the factory’s not-for-profit operational structure ensures the lowest possible prices for the AD syringes.

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Poverty Alleviation

Meeting real humanitarian needs, economically viable, locally owned and managed — the Port Harcourt AD syringe factory offers every promise of permanent success. Countless lives will be saved and, in the process, local self-reliance and pride can only grow.

The project is alleviating poverty by the following means:

 Job creation and worker training: The AD syringe factory project has created more than 300 jobs for local workers. Additionally, the factory is contributing to job creation within related local businesses, such as factory suppliers. More broadly, having trained local people in all levels of the operations of the factory, the factory project has increased Africa’s technically and managerially skilled workforce.

 Transfer of technology: Currently, Africa imports AD syringes and other essential medical products that could be locally produced. By licensing the AD syringe technology from the UK-based Star Syringe, Ltd., the PAHF-supported factory has permanently transferred that vital technology to Nigeria.

 Employment of local resources: Good use of Nigeria’s own natural resources —
some of which are currently underutilized — is contributing to the region’s overall economic development. For example, the factory is using large amounts of polypropylene: a resource that is plentiful, yet underutilized, in the Port Harcourt area.

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Public/Private Partnership

The factory exemplifies NEPAD’s objectives:

 “… an African-owned and African-led development programme”: Between late 2006 and early 2007, it was agreed that the Port Harcourt auto-disable syringe factory would be owned and operated by the Government of Nigeria: that is, the factory is a government, as opposed to the originally-envisioned nongovernmental, entity. PAHF Nigeria is represented on the factory’s management board.

 “The new long-term vision will require massive, heavy investment to
bridge existing gaps.”
The Government of Nigeria provided the majority of the factory-establishment project's support: a combination of financial donations and in-kind contributions valued at millions of dollars. Such “massive, heavy investment” makes clear the commitment of the people and leaders of Nigeria, through both local and national government agencies.

 “The challenge ahead for Africa is to be able to raise the required funding
under the best conditions possible. We therefore call on our development
partners to assist us in this endeavour.”
Most of the support (cash and in-kind donations) came from the Nigerian people, through the Federal Government of Nigeria and — for the most part — from the Government of Rivers State, which is the factory's locale. Complementing Nigeria's own support have been generous donations from private-sector companies, foundations and individuals worldwide. View PAHF project donors here.

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Meeting real humanitarian needs, economically viable, and locally owned and
managed, the Port Harcourt AD syringe factory offers every promise of
permanent success. Countless lives will be saved and, in the process, local
self-reliance and pride can only grow.

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Updated: December 4, 2009.

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