Marc Koska OBE
In 1984 Marc Koska read a newspaper article predicting the transmission of HIV through the reuse of medical needles and syringes. It proved to be a seminal moment. Sadly, this prediction has come horrifyingly true: medical treatment does spread disease. He was 23 years old and after unfocused schooling, working in various jobs, traveling and sailing yachts, he found his calling. Marc had the simple but brilliant idea to invent a non-reusable syringe, which cannot pass on an infection to further users.
Marc learnt how drug addicts used syringes in the UK, went to Geneva to learn about Public Health Policy, visited several syringe factories, studied plastic injection moulding and after a year of intense study he designed the K1 syringe and founded Star Syringe.
Today hundreds of millions are sold annually and the invention has saved more than 14 million lives and prevented 10 million cases of disease transmission. All injections given with a K1 syringe, Marc's invention, are sterile and safe. They protect the patient, and the next patient, and their families, because the K1 syringe cannot be reused - it locks and breaks after one use.
But the product is only one component of the solution. Generally, people do not know injections can cause them harm, and this presents another issue - to inform the public of the problem and the solution.
In 2005 Marc started SafePoint, a not-for-profit trust, set up to promote awareness of the dangers of unsafe injections. It informs the public in whatever way possible from co-operation with the media to lecturing in schools. It makes a difference and the aim is to inform a whole generation of this vital data. If a generation can learn, they will then be able to inform their own children and this will dramatically improve the situation. Lifesaver public awareness campaigns fills the information and education gaps between the public, healthcare providers and governments.
Marc's journey involves many other people who have helped, financed, supported, and innovated with Star. Their efforts are bearing fruit. Star is honoured to have received the Queen's Award for Enterprise and Marc himself was awarded an OBE in recognition of his Contribution to Global Healthcare.
"Marc speaks with passion and clarity on a subject that is complex yet alarming. His 20 year mission is conveyed through his fascinating collection of anecdotes. He is an outstanding entrepreneur and a true inspiration." Medical Futures Ltd