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Marc Koska

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Marc Koska
Marc koska.jpg
Koska in 2008
Marc Andrew Koska

14 March 1961 (1961-03-14) (age 58)
Bournemouth, England
EducationStowe School, Buckinghamshire

Marc Andrew Koska OBE (born 14 March 1961 in Bournemouth) is best known for inventing the non-reusable K1 auto-disable syringe, thus preventing the medical transmission of blood-borne diseases.[1]


Koska attended Stowe School, a boarding independent school for boys (now co-educational), in the village of Stowe (near Buckingham), in Buckinghamshire.

Life and career

Koska travelled for several years with a short period working in the City of London. He skied, sailed and worked his way around Europe, US and the Caribbean. In the Caribbean he worked as a model maker of scenes of crime to be used in courts.

K1 Syringe

In 1984 Koska read a newspaper article predicting the transmission of HIV through the reuse of needles and syringes. Koska was fascinated by the problem and vowed to do something about it. He studied 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 read everything available on the transmission of viruses like HIV.

After a year of intense study, Koska concluded that syringe manufacture was the key to the problem. Koska designed a syringe (K1) that could be made on existing equipment with a small modification. It was made from the same materials and could be used in the same way as a normal syringe so that healthcare professionals would not have to retrain. K1 syringes cannot be used again so the next patient will also have a sterile and safe injection.

Koska recognised that new syringes were only one part of the solution. One must also teach the public about the dangers of reusing needles. In 2005 Koska founded The SafePoint Trust, a registered charity dedicated to educating children about this issue.

On 23 July 2009, Koska gave a lecture on his life-saving invention to TEDOxford:[2]

2008 India Campaign

In November 2008, Koska and a SafePoint Trust team led a major media and public-awareness campaign throughout India in an attempt to do something about the prevalence of unsafe injections and the resultant illness and death that they cause in that country. They travelled throughout India giving their One Injection, One Syringe message to the media at press conferences for over a week. In addition, a specially made PSA entitled Sachin (in both English and Hindi) was repeatedly shown on television channels, radio stations and cinemas across the country. Watch the Sachin PSA in English; Sachin PSA in Hindi. As a result, SafePoint's message achieved widespread coverage throughout India.[3]

Koska then met with Anbumani Ramadoss, India's State Minister for Health, who decided to outlaw the use of ordinary syringes, making auto-disable syringes mandatory – initially in Central Government Hospitals with regional State-controlled facilities to follow and, later, in private hospitals as part of a second phase – throughout the whole of India.[4][5][6][7][8]

Making the Point is a SafePoint-produced video report on the campaign, culminating in Dr Ramadoss's landmark decision.

Koska's SafePoint team is currently planning to target Africa next.[9]


Koska has been recognised[10][11] for his personal achievements as well as for those of his commercial company, Star Syringe, in the fields of business, innovation, sustainability, product design, health, contribution to society and social responsibility. Full list of awards won.

Personal life

As of 2001, Koska lives in East Sussex, England, with his wife Anna Koska and their three children.


  1. ^ Used needles are causing a health crisis in India, Sunday Times, 22 March 2009
  2. ^ "Marc Koska at TEDGlobal 2009: Running notes from Session 7". TEDOxford. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  3. ^ UK charity promotes safe injections, The Times of India, 20 November 2008
  4. ^ Sussex businessman makes big change in India, East Grinstead Courier and Observer, 13 February 2009
  5. ^ Use of auto disabled syringes will be mandatory, assures Ramadoss Archived 25 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine,, 11 December 2008
  6. ^ Use of auto disable syringes made mandatory Archived 27 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Hindustan Times, 12 December 2008
  7. ^ Use of Auto Disable Syringes made Mandatory, Express Healthcare, Dec 2008
  8. ^ Use of auto disabled syringes will be mandatory, assures Min, Indopia, 11 December 2008
  9. ^ "One use only: the broken syringe that saves lives". WIRED (CondéNet International). 6 August 2009. Archived from the original on 9 August 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  10. ^ "Tech Museum honors tech that benefits humanity". CNET News (CBS Interactive Inc.). 12 November 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  11. ^ "Firms encouraged to apply for award". East Grinstead Courier and Observer. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2009.

External links