Rajiv Nath, Jt. Managing Director, Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd.

Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd. (HMD) is headed by our chairman and managing director, Narindra Nath. Founded in 1957, it is a closely held family corporation. HMD has been making and innovating low-cost medical devices of high quality for over 59 years. It was the very first Indo-Japanese joint venture in India. Japanese leadership in medical technology was not so developed at that time. We were the first company at that time making essential low-cost medical devices, glass syringes, and thereafter surgical blades.

Our primary markets are India, USA, Europe, Middle-East, and secondary markets - Africa and South-East Asia. HMD has seven plants in India and has more than 3500 employees. Its major products are single-use syringes, single-use needles, IV cannulas, safety IV cannulas, surgical blades, scalpels, scalp vein sets, auto-disable syringes, and blood collection systems.

HMD is one of the top healthcare device brands in the healthcare sector. This has come about due to the processes and systems we have put in place for ensuring consistent quality in mass production with precision of plus-minus one micron across millions of syringes made over many years in making interchangeable GlassVan syringes that had to fit well and never leaked or jammed and yet ensure that they are affordable. After that, we moved onto high precision surgical blades and then Dispovan syringes and needles - currently we produce over three billion injection needles per annum, which are automatically checked 100 percent by digital vision camera inspection systems. Market leadership came from a progressive open-minded attitude of listening to our customers, acting swiftly on their suggestions, and by following fair ethical business practices by way of which we earned respect and trust of the medical community.

We specialize in plastic disposables and precision engineering and strive to provide added safety features with extra care and innovative ideas like auto-disable is a step ahead than single-use syringes and IV cannulas with sharps injury-prevention feature that we sell to Scandinavia and scalpels that we sell to US. We have invested heavily in buying the best technologies from all over the world - Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, and Israel. If we have to compete with world's brand leaders we cannot have anything less than they have.

We had earlier this year urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch a nationwide Rashtriya Swachh Injections Abhiyan to end the continued practice of unsafe injections, which result in avoidable loss of life, serious health risks, and increased healthcare burden.

Injections should be life giver, not life taker but unsafe injection practices, mostly in the form of reuse of safety injections from dirty contaminated needles, continue to be a serious threat to life of patients and health workers, casting shadow over public healthcare and immunization program while raising individual and national healthcare cost burden.

We are delighted by the announcement of the Injection Safety Project at Mumbai by Government of India (GOI) and World Health Organization (WHO) as a component and key intervention strategy to address blood-borne infections like Hepatitis B&C. For WHO to hold its Global Conference in India and the presence of Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador to lead the campaign to decimate Hepatitis by 2030 is indicative of the importance being given to the issue. Globally, 400 million persons (approximately 40 million in India) are estimated to be infected by Hepatitis and it is the second-biggest killer disease after TB. Such a campaign would be a relatively lower-cost but concomitant benefits in terms of health, safety, and hidden savings in saving lives or loss from income due to extra days on a hospital bed or taxpayers' money in treatment costs, would be humungous. Remember One Syringe, One Injection.

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