The country of Ghana, situated between the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Togo, has successfully carried out many vaccination campaigns since 1978 when the country adopted the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI). Since then, there has been a decrease in cases of many different vaccine-preventable diseases: since 2003 there have not been any deaths caused by measles, in 2011 Ghana was certified to have eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus, and the cases of poliomyelitis have dropped as well. Ghana is renowned to be one of the African countries with some of the best immunisation results and is on track, with some increased support, to be able to vaccinate nine out of ten children by 2022. Ghana’s great results of the past have of course also been possible because of the vital role that well-functioning and well-maintained cold chain equipment has had and will continue to be the case in the future. However, work still needs to be done to be able to
and places without basic infrastructure, especially now that the world is fighting against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
With the first cases of the coronavirus on the African continent, it was clear that the countries there would require support: on the 24th of February 2021, Ghana became the first African country to be supplied with COVID-19 vaccines via the COVAX initiative. However, as of July 2021, only a small percentage of the population has been vaccinated against the virus. The situation needed to change, and the government acted swiftly to offer new solutions.
Limited until not long ago to a regular cold chain made mostly up of medical refrigerators, the government decided to expand it to be able to store more thermosensitive doses. This became a priority when the country managed to secure 1.2 million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines through the COVAX initiative in July, expecting their delivery in mid to late August.
To bolster Ghana’s immunisation efforts against COVID-19 and ensure that the necessary cold chain for these mRNA vaccines would be ready for the arrival of the doses, the government started initiatives to provide its healthcare system with enough freezers and ultra-low freezers to store vaccines at temperatures from -86°C to +8°C. Through these efforts, 58 ultra-low freezers, 3000 freezers and 300 vaccine transport boxes were supplied last week to the Ghana Health Service by the Ministry of Health.
B Medical Systems is honoured to be part of this incredible effort to ensure everyone in Ghana will have access to all types of COVID-19 vaccines available. As soon as the government requested the cold chain equipment needed, we worked tirelessly to deliver them in record times. All the products delivered are designed to withstand tropical temperatures, ensure a reliable cold storage environment for their stored biologicals and have been extensively tested to ascertain their full safety and reliability. B Medical Systems’ Ultra-Low Freezers are the ideal ultra-cold freezing solution to store vaccines for the long term, but the company also equipped the country of Ghana with over 1000 RCW25 Transport Boxes for the reliable and safe transport of doses even at temperatures as low as -80°C when supplied with dry ice. With these solutions, the Ghana Health Service was able to secure a reliable cold chain which could not only store Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines at the correct temperatures, but also deliver them to the population, even in remote places.
The local team in charge of the Ultra-Low Freezers was trained by experts from B Medical Systems and will now be able to take care of these products from now on. Healthcare workers all around the country will now be able to use the ultra-low freezers, freezers and transport boxes supplied reliably and efficiently, ensuring that no doses of vaccines can spoil.
B Medical Systems is proud to be supporting the ultra-cold chain in Ghana. Through our storage and transport products we aim to help the government immunise the population even in the most remote corners of the world. We look forward to seeing the progress that the country of Ghana will make in the future.