British solar refrigeration manufacturer Dulas is delivering over three hundred of its VC150SDD solar refrigerators to Nigeria.
These World Health Organization accredited refrigerators will be used to safely store vaccines in Yobe, Bauchi and Kaduna states.
The VC150SDD is an advanced Solar Direct Drive refrigerator and, like all Dulas’ Solar Direct Drive (SDD) products, uses Freeze-Free technology to ensure that vaccines are never exposed to harmful freezing temperatures. It also includes a water pack freezer for vaccine outreach services.
The governments of Yobe, Bauchi and Kaduna states are committed to strengthening their vaccine storage infrastructure recognizing this as integral to vaccine stability and potency.
Implementing this strategy through the state level Primary Health Care Management Boards serves to improve the provision of vaccines and contributes to a reduction of the incidence of childhood sickness and death, in line with the Millennium Development Goals set out by the UN in 2000 and continued through their latest Sustainable Development Goals.
“Reliable storage is essential to ensuring that vaccines are effective," said Catherine McLennan, account manager at Dulas. "Our Solar Direct Drive refrigerators use advanced technology, developed by Dulas over many years, to provide storage that exceeds WHO requirements and allows even rural health facilities to safely and consistently administer vaccination programs.”
With the WHO aiming to achieve 90 percent immunization coverage in each of its target countries by 2020, reliable storage of vaccines at the correct temperature is of crucial importance. This year Nigeria launched a polio vaccine drive targeting millions of children in its northern states, such as Bauchi and Yobe, which will benefit from these latest deliveries of Dulas refrigerators.
This vaccine drive followed a polio outbreak in Borno state, the first outbreak in the country in over two years. Although the WHO believe that they will soon be able to rid Nigeria of polio, immunization programs can often be hindered by storage issues. This is most often the case in more remote areas with only sporadic access to the national grid. In the absence of a reliable source of electricity, temperature-sensitive vaccines will spoil and go to waste.
In response to this, Dulas first pioneered solar vaccine refrigerators in 1982 and continue to use their many years of experience to produce sophisticated and reliable products. Their SDD refrigerators are equipped with Freeze-Free technology, using a combination of advanced phase change materials and multiple temperature sensors to completely remove the risk of vaccines freezing – eliminating a source of vaccine wastage second only to power failures.
The solar-powered refrigerators use an advanced non-corrosive phase change material for the energy store, which cannot be damaged by over-charging or discharging, thereby ensuring there is no need to replace it. Combined with Dulas’ intelligent variable speed controller, this extends the usability of SDD fridges and makes them more resilient in low-sun conditions.