Supplies will benefit vulnerable populations in local communities statewide
News Release, Maryland Department of Health
BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today received $3.7 million of donated “sharps” disposal containers and supplies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Residents in 15 local communities from western Maryland to the Eastern Shore will benefit from this new partnership between Maryland and the federal government.
The sharps containers, which hold used syringes, will be used by local health departments and community partners to serve vulnerable populations throughout the community. Properly disposing of used syringes can prevent the spread of bloodborne pathogens, such as hepatitis and HIV, and protect health care workers and the community.
“This enhanced relationship with the CDC will provide critical supplies throughout Maryland,” said Gregg Todd, MDH’s Deputy Secretary of Operations. “Providing free sharps containers to our partners will enable them to use their limited resources for many more life-saving programs and supplies.”
In addition to this donation from the CDC, five Maryland counties – Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester – received a shipment of sharps containers and supplies last week, also valued at $3.7 million, in coordination with the MidShore Opioid Misuse Prevention Program. Both shipments contained approximately 1,500 sharps containers.
“Syringes are used every day for critical medical treatment,” said Deputy Secretary for Public Health Frances B. Phillips. “Unfortunately, these life-saving medical supplies can be misused if not disposed of properly. Having these sharps containers available will reduce the risk of needle exposure and potential infection in our communities.”
The Maryland Department of General Services (DGS) coordinated with the United States General Services Administration (GSA) to facilitate the transfer of the medical supplies from the CDC to the Maryland Department of Health and its partners.
Several local health departments in Maryland participate in a harm reduction and syringe services program to ensure safe disposal of syringes. Individuals should not attempt to handle or dispose of used syringes if they are seen on the ground or elsewhere. To learn more about safe syringe disposal, visit bit.ly/MDsafesyringe or contact your local health department.
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