Program Marks First Commercial Use of the BD Uniject™
Injection Device Developed to Enhance Vaccine Delivery and Reduce Risk of Infection
Jakarta, Indonesia (August 14, 2000) -- An outreach program sponsored by the Ministry of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program at PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health) and the Indonesian pharmaceutical manufacturer Bio Farma is underway here to immunize Indonesian infants against Hepatitis B.
The immunization campaign marks the first commercial use of the BD Uniject™ injection system, which was originally developed by PATH and other public health partners, in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, for use in widespread immunization programs in developing countries. BD advanced the technology to create a unique single-use injection device that is filled and packaged prior to use and can be used only once. Field studies have shown that Uniject can greatly reduce the risk of infections from needle reuse.
“Every child has the right to a safe vaccination, and the BD Uniject Injection Device offers this both affordably and effectively,” said Edward J. Ludwig, BD president and chief operating officer. “We are proud to have joined together with PATH and others in its development and applaud the Ministry of Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program and Bio Farma for their commitment to reducing vaccine-preventable diseases and infection from unsafe injection practices.”
The program is being introduced in three Indonesian provinces as the first phase of yearlong effort to immunize an estimated 300,000 infants. Each newborn will receive an initial dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine soon after birth, followed by the two additional doses required for full immunization. The pre-filled BD Uniject devices will be part of the medical kits of the local midwife, nurse or other health care workers who attend home births, where 80 percent of all Indonesia infants are born. This will enable newborns to be inoculated immediately, easily and safely.
Approximately one million BD Uniject devices will be used over the course of the Indonesian program, allowing caregivers and regulatory organizations to develop logistic, transportation and storage methods to facilitate the broader use of BD Uniject devices in the future.
BD Uniject devices will also be used next year in a campaign to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) as a public health problem worldwide by the year 2005. Nine million Uniject™ devices will be donated by BD and pre-filled by Bio Farma with tetanus toxoid vaccine.
The MNT initiative is supported by BD, USAID, PATH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others, and is endorsed by UNICEF, WHO and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Through this partnership, a low-cost tetanus program for immunization and health education will be implemented in 57 countries in Asia, Africa and other parts of the world. Currently, maternal tetanus kills 30,000 women a year and every day 590 newborns die from neonatal tetanus.
BD manufactures and sells a broad range of supplies, devices and systems for use by health care professionals, medical research institutions, industry and the general public.
Uniject is a trademark of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company).