Renewable energy specialists Dulas has delivered 50 of its VC110SDD solar-powered refrigerators to Pakistan and has also launched a real-time remote temperature monitoring device to record and transmit the performance of the refrigerators at any location in the world.
Courtesy of Dulas
The refrigerators are accredited by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and are designed to improve and expand the cold chain for the safe storage of vaccines, supporting key humanitarian initiatives across the country.
Estimates of immunisation coverage for vaccines such as the pentavalent vaccine and oral polio vaccine remain above 70 percent, but according to a study published in International Health, these national estimates mask significant regional variation. In addition, poor temperature control remains a challenge to delivering immunisation programmes both in Pakistan and worldwide, as most vaccines must be kept within an optimal temperature range to ensure their efficacy.
The VC110SDD solar-powered refrigerator uses Dulas’ advanced phase change energy storage technology to provide an extended operating temperature range of +5°C to +43°C, delivering a standalone vaccine cold chain that can be deployed in a wide range of locations. The units will be used to extend and improve immunisation activities throughout Pakistan.
Dulas has a strong track record of supporting immunisation programmes in Pakistan. In 2017 for example, the Government of Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest province in the southwest of the country, launched a programme aimed at delivering immunisation services via solar-powered vaccine refrigerators to particularly remote off-grid areas with little or no access to electricity. As part of this initiative, Dulas supplied over 350 of its smaller VC50SDD units to specialist regional medical firms Askari Enterprises (Pvt Ltd) and Abid Rafique & Co.
“This latest agreement reflects the growing need for flexible solutions to the challenge of storing and transporting vaccines across Pakistan” said Catherine McLennan, Account Manager at Dulas. “Our previous experience working with the Balochistan government was essential to understanding the unique challenges faced by our client and providing them with the technological solutions to safely and efficiently administer vaccination programmes. The VC110SDD boasts an increased capacity that will suit larger health facilities and allow our client to more easily deliver vaccines to those regions that have traditionally been most difficult to access. This in turn will contribute to driving increased immunisation rates in these areas.”
Dulas has also announced the launch of its next generation Vaccine Guard – a real-time remote temperature monitoring device that records and transmits refrigerator performance and temperature data anywhere in the world. The new model features SMS and email alerts that give advance warning of any change in temperature within vaccine refrigerators, allowing for easy monitoring and ensuring continuous security of the cold chain.