Catherine’s September visit to West Africa started off in Benin where she was greeted by in-country partner, Abel, Director of Esor Ika.
Esor Ika was established in Benin in 2008 and specialise in the supply, installation and maintenance of hospital equipment, medical devices and renewable energy. With over a decade of professional experience, their technical staff have acquired strong expertise in the implementation of photovoltaic systems.
In 2019 they carried out the successful delivery and installation of over 300 SDD (solar direct drive) refrigerators for a Gavi-funded CCEOP (cold chain equipment optimisation programme) project for Benin.
Our local partners are invaluable in all the countries we operate in – they know their countries well and are aware of the logistical challenges in getting cold chain to last mile communities. With full training and support from Dulas HQ, our partners have the skills, knowledge and experience of carrying out installation and training programmes for end users of our equipment.
During their time in Benin, Catherine and Abel paid a visit to Le Follereau Foundation, a charity that provides education and training, and access to healthcare, food and sanitation to left-behind populations, (such as those with HIV, disabilities, or suffering from leprosy).
Next Catherine visited Centre du Santé de la Minière where she was delighted to meet worker Colarie Gnide who said that they look after around 200 pregnant women a month and keep vaccines such as BCG, Pentavalent, Tetanus, Measles as well as Covid vaccines on site.
Colarie said that they are pleased to have the reliability of a solar powered refrigerator to ensure vaccines are stored at the correct temperature.
The team also met with the Director of Vaccines and Logistics– PEV*, Benin, where they discussed the importance of ongoing maintenance to ensure a robust cold chain programme.
*PEV (Programme elargi de vaccination), otherwise known as the Expanded Vaccination Programme, is a worldwide project to ensure that all children can benefit from life-saving vaccines.