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Press release

  • 12 March 2009

Sussex celebrates ground breaking India health mission

Used syringes are a major hazard in developing countries

Used syringes are a major hazard in developing countries

A young nurse quietly tends to her patients in one of India's public hospitals. For each patient she takes the same syringe and carefully measures out their drug. She injects the patient and returns the bloody syringe to the kidney dish. Without so much as a wipe, she takes up the same syringe and repeats the process, remembering to comply with hospital policy and leave the syringe for the next shift as it's only been used on ten far.

It was a scenario like this that horrified Sussex honorary Doctorate Marc Koska OBE so much that he invented a cheap, disposable alternative; the auto-disable syringe - which makes repeated use impossible.

Marc then initiated the largest broadcast media campaign in India ever, to highlight the reality of syringe use in the country. The revelation caused widespread outrage in India and prompted the Indian government to make auto-disable syringes mandatory in public hospitals across the country.

Now business leaders, MPs, medics, students, local dignitaries and Peter Field, the Lord Lieutenant of Sussex, will gather at the University of Sussex on tomorrow night to say 'job well done' to Marc and his team.

Also present will be the three Sussex students who accompanied Marc on the trip and helped to produce a powerful film chronicling the campaign's progress. The film will be screened at the event along with speeches and presentations.

Sussex student Chrissie Mann, says: "I had not been to India before but I've always wanted to go. The trip meant the world to me as it combined working with images and taking some amazing and interesting photos, whilst helping a charity and experiencing a new and fascinating culture."

Sussex history student Lindsay Smith and Brighton School of Modern Music student Nina Gromniak documented the 24hr multi media broadcasting of the safe syringe message with the entire project team.

Notes for editors

Date: Thursday 5nd February

Time: 6.30pm

Venue: Come to Sussex House reception at 6.30pm to be guided to the venue

Contact: Danielle Treanor Tel 0774 0099325


Find more about Safe Point here:



This powerful story will be re-told in InQbate, the extraordinary multimedia learning space at Sussex.  Users stepping into the space are transported to court rooms, inside engines and even Denis Healy's living room, through multi million pound technology, photography, video, audio in an infinitely adaptable environment. 

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