The Solar Powered Vaccine Refrigerator Project
A Refrigerator That Can Save Lives
One of the most remote areas in the world is the Samburu and Laikipia regions in Northern Kenya. There are vast roadless areas, traversed by trails that go up to alpine brush and dense vegetation and back down to extreme desert. To achieve the goal of providing basic medical care to the indigenous people, a refrigerator that could hold enough vaccines at a steady temperature between 2C and 8C was needed despite the external temperatures varying from 40C to -5C. Because of the difficulty of preserving vaccines in such environments the WHO as implemented a new set of specifications that vaccine refrigerators should be qualified to meet. Donna Thorson, aided by others, devised a system to achieve this goal. In these remote areas the best transportation for the mobile clinics is a pack animal such as a camel. (Read More)
This refrigerator has the potential to be used throughout the world allowing remote villages to receive life saving medications. Community Health Africa hopes that the profit from the sale of these refrigerators will add to the operational budget for remote medical clinics.
ABC's 20/20 Visits the Clinics
Jay Schadler of ABC Traveled to remote Northern Kenya to see the vaccine refrigerator in action. Here he finds himself with a team of camels – part of a medical camel caravan trekking through the nomadic Samburu region of Kenya. With non-existent roads, it’s a novel approach to reach the most remote communities, where there are no doctors and no modern medicine. He sees for the first time a new solar-powered refrigerator, which may deliver via camel, temperature sensitive vaccines where electricity can’t go. View Video