Protecting Healthcare Workers Worldwide the Focus of New AIDS Prevention Initiative

African Project 'Joey(TM)aid' Scheduled for 2005 Kick-off

Jan 18, 2005, 00:00 ET from Joeyaid

    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 ( ).
     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

SOURCE Joeyaid