SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A new international program aimed at
reducing HIV and Hepatitis C infections among African healthcare workers
performing childbirth procedures is being launched today by Dr. Richard
Watson, program director of Joeyaid. At the forefront of the program is the
Joey(TM) Umbilical Safety System (Joey(TM)), a revolutionary medical device
that increases safety for healthcare practitioners who are involved in the
delivery of babies. Invented by Watson and developed by Vital Needs
International, Joey shields blood spray during childbirth -- a huge risk
factor for healthcare workers worldwide.
Joey, a FDA approved medical device, is a self-contained unit and uniquely
shields healthcare workers from blood spray during delivery of an infant. The
product cuts the umbilical cord while simultaneously clamping off both the
placenta and child umbilicus without the need of any additional instruments.
Currently, the most common tools used in Africa -- a razorblade and string --
do not effectively contain the high pressure blood spray, which can infect
healthcare workers. In Malawi alone, 92 healthcare workers are projected to
contract HIV/AIDS in the next 12 months as a direct result of being sprayed by
blood during the transection of the umbilical cord.
"The focus of Joeyaid is to provide a safe childbirth delivery standard to
skilled healthcare attendants in Africa and beyond," said Dr. Richard Watson,
Joey inventor and program director of Joeyaid.
Watson recently returned from Africa where he saw directly how delivering
babies, one of the most commonly performed medical procedures, is a life-
threatening activity, as medical tools are almost non-existent or reused in an
unsanitary fashion. "What we have found, tragically, are that midwives and
other healthcare providers are positioned as disposable medical goods," said
Watson. "Our team is now compelled to get Joeys and other needed medical
products to Africa," continued Watson.
An initial pilot program featuring Joey will begin this year in Malawi,
Africa with the goal of reducing HIV and HCV infections among healthcare
workers who are involved in the delivery of babies. To procure and distribute
Joeys, Dr. Watson is partnering with different world healthcare organizations
who serve undeveloped countries around the globe. The pilot program will be
facilitated by Population Services International (PSI), a non-profit global
distribution organization that serves over 70 undeveloped countries around the
world with many life-saving products and services (www.psi.org ).
In addition to their participation in the pilot program, PSI is organizing
a visit to Malawi in April to share with congressional leaders and business
executives how great the need is to protect healthcare workers in this
The Joey Clamp & Cutter has won three design awards including the
IDEA/Business Week Gold Award 2003; the Medical Design Excellence Gold Award
2003; and the ID Magazine Design Distinction Award 2002.
For more information about protecting healthcare workers worldwide or to
learn how you can support Joeyaid, please visit the organization's website at
Contact: Rich Ronald
Media: Karen Adams