Our work takes us all over the world where usually we would carry out comprehensive face-to-face training programmes on our solar direct drive refrigerator systems. Like many others, we have had to embrace new ways of working due to Covid restrictions, and we have adapted by holding online training events and live virtual interactive presentations that highlight the benefits our solar refrigerators can bring to remote communities who might otherwise miss out on the protection that vaccines provide.

We recently organised a live interactive event in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, to showcase the importance of Solar Direct Drive refrigerators to store essential vaccines in areas of the country that do not have access to a reliable source of power.

The successful event brought together various partners from UN agencies, donor agencies and healthcare providers from within the country and was carried out in conjunction with their in-country partners, Sinco Medical Supplies Ltd.

There was a demonstration VC150SDD combined solar refrigerator / freezer on display and a live Q&A session with Catherine McLennan, Head of International Sales, who joined the event via video link from Dulas HQ in mid-Wales. A range of speakers underlined the challenges of a reliable cold chain infrastructure and the need to ensure a system is in place to protect life-saving vaccines.

A highlight of the event was the donation of the VC150SDD to the Ministry of Health. Dr Baba Samson, Director General of Health Strengthening Programmes, attended the event and identified a local children’s hospital (the Alsaba Children’s Hospital) as a beneficiary of the donation from Dulas.

Power of the solar refrigerator
South Sudan has many regions that lack reliable electricity – this is a huge challenge when delivering vaccines that need to be chilled to remain viable. The country is currently gearing up for mass vaccination against Covid-19, and having a reliable cold chain infrastructure is vital for any vaccination programme. In areas where power supply is intermittent, solar powered refrigerators form an essential part of medical care facilities. The Dulas Solar Direct Drive refrigerators are ideal because they run at a stable +5°C year round and have Grade A User independent Freeze Protection (UIFP) which prevents vaccines from freezing.

Essential healthcare infrastructure
Catherine, who led the showcase, said: “whilst Covid-19 is an immediate concern right now, with proper care, our refrigerators will form an essential part of the healthcare infrastructure within rural communities in the future, enabling the implementation of routine immunisation programmes for generations to come.”

Early pioneers of solar refrigerators
Dulas pioneered off-grid solar vaccine storage in the 80s and has been supplying solar schemes and refrigeration to areas that need it most ever since. Today Dulas works with in-country partners all over the world, manufacturing and distributing this life-saving equipment and providing the relevant training to healthcare workers in remote areas.