HEALTH: WHO gives Kenyan firm ago ahead to produce to produce auto-disable syringes

WHO gives Kenyan firm ago ahead to produce to produce auto-disable syringes

MANUFACTURING:Staff at the Revital Health Care EPZ in Kikambala, Kilifi, sort packed syringes at the factory.

A Kilifi-based company has become the first in Africa to be prequalified to produce syringes that auto-disable after injection, preventing reuse.

Revital Healthcare EPZ, is one of the eight manufacturers prequalified by the World Health Organization to produce such syringes, but is the first in Africa.

Syringes with a reuse prevention feature are often called auto-disable (AD) syringes and are currently the gold standard for safety in immunisation programmes.

Revital said production of syringes within the continent is expected to decrease average syringe transport times by up to 80-90 per cent for Africa. This is critical for rapid outbreak response and timely immunisation campaigns.

“Revital’s historic WHO pre-qualification for the early-activation AD syringe exemplifies the transformative power of African innovation and manufacturing excellence. Our commitment to the well-being of our fellow people, especially children receiving life-saving immunisation, is our motivation to continue to progress,” Revital’s director of marketing and sales Roneek Vora said.

WHO pre-qualification is given after inspections confirm that a key health product meets global standards of quality, safety and efficacy.

The company said it will produce upwards of 300 million AD syringes per year.

This work was made possible through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which invested Sh577 million ($3.9 million) in the company in 2021.

The company expanded its workforce to the current 500 people, the majority of whom are women from the local community.

“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,” director of immunisation at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Violaine Mitchell said.

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