Monitoring Vaccine Refrigerators for the World Market
SELF is partnering with PATH, an international, nonprofit global health organization based in Seattle, to monitor the efficacy of vaccine refrigerators in Haiti. Three other evaluation teams will do the identical work in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The reason for this multi-country evaluation is that there are no reliable mechanisms to track the performance of vaccine refrigerators, also known as cold chain equipment (CCE), after installation in health care centers in developing countries. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not have data to reliably judge the efficacy of each brand and model of CCE in order to make the proper recommendations to organizations purchasing large numbers of the appliances for distribution. When considering the billions of dollars spent annually on this equipment by governments and NGOs, as well as the negative public health consequences of inadequate vaccine refrigerators, there is clearly a lot resting on a formal evaluation like the one SELF and the three other teams are carrying out.
Working closely with the Haitian Ministry of Health, SELF’s two skilled solar technicians will visit the same 42 sites once a month to monitor, repair and interview staff. The one-year reporting period ends on April 30, 2021. After the data is analyzed, a report will be sent to the WHO.
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Since 1990, SELF has completed projects in more than 25 countries and pioneered unique applications of solar power such as for drip irrigation in Benin, health care in Haiti, telemedicine in the Amazon rain forest, online learning in South Africa and microenterprise development in Nigeria.
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