Health centre staff at ‘Centre Hospitalier Universitaire De Bogodogoo’

When a region experiences conflict, vital health services are affected, making it difficult for people in these areas to access basic immunisation. It is estimated that 40% of under-vaccinated and unvaccinated children live in countries that are affected by conflict. These children are often the most vulnerable to disease outbreaks such as measles and polio. Dulas recently shipped 250 of our VC200SDD solar powered vaccine refrigerators to Burkina Faso, where armed conflict has been ongoing since 2015. The shipment is part of a project funded by the World Bank, and the vaccine refrigerators will provide vital cold chain infrastructure. This ensures children in the region continue to receive life-saving vaccines.


of under-vaccinated and unvaccinated children live in countries that are affected by conflict


VC200SDD solar powered vaccine refrigerators shipped to Burkina Faso

Turmoil in Burkina Faso

In 2022, Burkina Faso experienced two political coups, which involved armed conflict. This led to a volatile security situation which exacerbated existing challenges, such as extreme climate conditions. In December 2023, the United Nations reported that there were over two million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country. Many of them were living in formal and informal temporary camps. This sudden and sharp increase in the number of IDPs naturally places great strain on healthcare services, not only in the refugee camps, but in the areas surrounding them.

No child left behind

According to the UNHCR, the number of people forcibly displaced from their homes globally has increased from 41 million in 2010 to 108 million by the end of 2022 – a rise of more than 150%. The provision of ongoing immunisation services in these circumstances is extremely challenging. Individuals in refugee camps live in crowded conditions which facilitate the spread of infectious disease. Disease outbreaks can sometimes divert scarce resources away from routine healthcare services, such as vaccination. Yet immunisation is vital in preventing future disease outbreaks. NGOs and local healthcare workers remain determined in their commitment to the ongoing vaccination of these populations.

Infrastructure is key

One of the major challenges in conflict areas is maintaining the infrastructure required to administer healthcare – medical facilities, supplies and equipment are often destroyed. And in areas that experience sudden influxes of refugees, it’s important to ensure additional infrastructure is in place. Even in areas outside of conflict zones, road access may be hampered, affecting the delivery of essential supplies, and electricity supply may be interrupted, affecting cold chain storage. This is where our Solar Direct Drive technology can really make a difference.

The power of solar direct drive technology

Solar powered cold chain storage is invaluable when mains power supply is unreliable – it can help to ensure that vaccines remain at the temperatures required to keep them safe and effective. Losing a refrigerator full of vaccines can be devastating, both in terms of the financial cost and because of the potential cost to communities of having to go without vital life-saving vaccinations. The refrigerators that we recently sent to Burkina Faso were our VC200SDD model – our largest capacity solar powered vaccine refrigerator. Each has a capacity of 132 litres, safely storing enough vaccines to immunise over 10,000 children and thereby ensuring the ongoing delivery of vital immunisation programmes.

The VC200SDD can store enough vaccines to immunise

10,000+ children

The extra mile

Many of our vaccine refrigerators go to countries where conflict is an issue. Our network of reliable in-country partners always go the extra mile to ensure this vital cold chain equipment is delivered – often to remote areas in difficult weather conditions, using multiple modes of transport! Their awareness of the changing political landscape, combined with their logistical knowledge, makes them invaluable in getting our refrigerators to the areas they are needed most.

Protecting children in areas affected by conflict

UNICEF reports that one in four children live in countries affected by conflict or disaster. In many of these places, more children die from disease rather than direct violence. When systems fail, it is vital that routine vaccination campaigns continue, and back-up systems that keep vaccines safe are an essential part of that. The 250 vaccine refrigerators sent out to Burkina Faso will form a vital part of the infrastructure that enables the ongoing immunisation against life-threatening disease for years to come.

Betty Freeman
Account Manager

For further information, feel free to get in touch.

Renewables Tel: 01654 705 055