Kenya has beat Nigeria to the production of auto-disable syringes as Revital Healthcare EPZ Limited becomes the first African manufacturing company to be granted pre-qualification status by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Revital Healthcare (EPZ) Ltd is a top medical disposable manufacturer located in Kenya that specializes in the manufacturing of a range of syringes, including auto-disable (AD) syringes.
AD syringes are a type of syringe that is designed to prevent reuse after a single use.
They contain an internal mechanism that locks the plunger or needle in place after the syringe is used, making it impossible to reuse. This helps to prevent the spread of diseases and infections that can occur when syringes are reused.
Revital Healthcare EPZ achieved this 10 years after its operations in injection safety in immunisation programming across Africa.
The early-activation feature is the gold standard for safety in Immunization programs as preferred by UNICEF, rendering the syringe disabled at the start of administering and injection.
Historically, introducing these devices has resulted in substantial reductions in rates of blood-borne infections such as HIV in immunization programs across Africa.
AD syringes are particularly useful for immunization programs, where they can help to ensure that people receive their shots safely and effectively.
There are currently eight manufacturers who have WHO PQ status for this product but Revital is the first to achieve this in Africa.
This is expected to decrease average syringe transport times by about 80 to 90 percent for Africa, critical for rapid outbreak response and timely immunisation campaigns.
Roneek Vora, director of Marketing and Sales for Revital Healthcare EPZ Ltd. in an official statement said: “Revital’s historic WHO pre-qualification for the early-activation AD syringe exemplifies the transformative power of African innovation and manufacturing excellence”.
She also noted that the feats marks the company’s commitment to the health safety, especially children receiving life-saving immunization.
Revital will be able to produce upwards of 300 million AD syringes per year.
According to the statement, the feat was supported through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In addition to supporting the development of this product to increase supply security for Africa, this helped create more than 200 new local jobs in Kilifi County, 80 percent of which are staffed by women in support of a joint commitment to gender equality.
“As the first African manufacturer to be approved by WHO to produce early activation auto-disable syringes, Revital is paving the way to expand local production of syringes,” said Violaine Mitchell, director of Immunization at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“We are proud to support Revital’s efforts to sustainably expand the supply of these syringes in Africa and ensure vaccines are delivered safely and quickly across the continent.”
The WHO PQ listing for the 0.5ml early-activation AD syringe can be accessed through the WHO Vaccine Quality Catalogue.