With the support of UNICEF and GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, the Madagascar government has strengthened the cold chain of 400 hard-to-reach health centres. The solar refrigerators of the Luxembourg brand B Medical Systems will facilitate access to quality vaccines for more than 4.5 million children.
“I would like to thank the [Madagascar] Government for this donation of solar refrigerator for the storage of vaccines. We, the villagers of Anoviara, express our complete satisfaction, as this fridge is very easy to use and we no longer have to travel to the capital of Andapa to vaccinate our children,” says Augustin Rajaonarifeno, Mayor of Anoviara, with enthusiasm.
With only 30% of health centres equipped with solar cold chain equipment, Madagascar is a country where less than half of all children are immunized. This is particularly the case in communities most vulnerable to epidemics because of their location in remote and isolated areas.
Operating solely by means of solar panels, B Medical Systems’ refrigerators are designed to ensure the proper storage of vaccines at a constant temperature maintained between 2°C and 8°C, as recommended by the WHO. The national project consisted of delivering and installing 404 of these devices in each of the country’s 22 regions.
Dynamic Consulting, the local partner of B Medical Systems, coordinated all the activities in the field in a record time of 4 months. This was particularly remarkable since the majority of the sites were located in hazardous areas, and 60% of the journeys were made on foot. Delivery to the Anoviara Health Centre took no less than a one-day walk, performed by a group of brave men who got up early to travel 60km, cross 5 rivers, climb mountains and hike on tracks made muddy by the capricious weather.
“The enthusiasm was palpable, both from the local authorities and from the doctors and families who were very supportive during the installation of the solar panels. We would like to thank the Ministry of Health of Madagascar for its trust in our technology, developed right here in Hosingen, in the north of Luxembourg, with the aim of saving lives,” says Luc Provost, CEO of B Medical Systems.
The refrigerators in question are TCW40SDD models. Guaranteed for 10 years, these medical devices are able to maintain vaccines at the right temperature in the harshest and most isolated climates. All are equipped with a remote temperature monitoring device called a “data logger”, which allows real-time monitoring of their performance, use and online geolocation.