About 2 million health care workers worldwide are stuck by needles or experience accidentson the job involving dangerous hospital waste every year. In an effort to reduce their risk of contracting life-threatening diseases, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, through its Delivering Hope program that focuses on Hepatitis B and C in Asia, recently awarded a $144,500 grant to AmeriCares India to launch a health worker safety program at Jagjivan Ram Railway Hospital in Mumbai. The three-year campaign aims to reduce the rate of needle stick injuries through increased awareness, improved safety supplies and techniques, and by strengthening standard operating procedures at the 330-bed specialty care hospital.
“Training in safe medical practices and protecting against highly infectious diseases like Hepatitis B and HIV are critical to safeguarding the health of medical workers,” said Dr. Purvish Parikh, VP and managing director of AmeriCares India. “Our goal is to achieve a 90 percent improvement in Hepatitis B vaccinations, a reduction in needle stick injuries and, based upon our findings, develop standard training modules and procedures that will be shared with other hospitals.”
The health worker safety program is just one of the ways the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and Bristol- Myers Squibb, a global biopharmaceutical company, has supported AmeriCares since 1986. The company has a long history with all of AmeriCares major programs, from disaster response and ongoing medical aid deliveries to supporting volunteer doctors traveling overseas to provide charitable care. Over the years, Bristol-Myers Squibb has donated $287 million in medicines to AmeriCares for people in need in 119 countries.