The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 50% of vaccines are wasted during the course of global immunisation outreach. Much of this wastage is preventable, caused by a failure to keep vaccines between two and eight degrees Celsius during transport and storage, with any vaccines exposed to conditions outside of this range destroyed.
A consistent cold chain is particularly difficult to maintain when trying to reach children in remote regions or communities fractured by conflict. These areas are characterised by intermittent electrical supplies and immunisation outreach relies on innovative cold chain technology such as Dulas’ solar powered refrigeration and remote temperature monitoring to keep vaccines in the safe range.
A week-long capacity-building programme hosted by Dulas’ expert team in Machynlleth saw partners from Benin, Ethiopia, Togo, Nigeria, Pakistan and Madagascar trained in installation best practice, health and safety, and environmental standards. By working closely with its in-country partners, Dulas continues to ensure the quality and longevity of its solar refrigeration and monitoring technology when it reaches the communities that need life-saving vaccines most.
To meet increasing demand from clients including GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance, and WHO in their work to achieve universal immunisation coverage, Dulas has also expanded its manufacturing capacity. The construction of a fifth production centre at Polestar Cooling Ltd, Bognor Regis, will enable Dulas to significantly increase production of solar-powered vaccine refrigerators.
“Our global partner training programme is designed to fight vaccine wastage and support organisations in their life-saving immunisation outreach where it’s needed most,” said Guy Watson, Head of International Operations, Dulas. “Dulas’ work to match world-leading cold chain technology with on-the-ground support and training has significantly enhanced the efficacy of global vaccine programmes in challenging locations around the world for more than 30 years.
“However, obstacles still remain in achieving universal vaccination coverage. There are 1.5 million avoidable deaths each year that can be addressed through immunisation programmes supported by reliable cold chain technology and training. It is only by working ever more closely with our dedicated international partners that we can close this final gap.”