Boosting community health
Non-profit company Unjani Clinics has been given a boost thanks to some new advanced refrigerators, which do not rely on electricity, to ensure that medicines and vaccines are properly stored and their efficacy maintained.
Unjani Clinics, the brainchild of Dr Iain Barton of Imperial Logistics, help to alleviate congestion in South Africa’s stretched and under-resourced public healthcare system. The 34 Unjani Clinics have helped immunise more than 30 000 patients in the past 24 months.
A problem, however, was that previous basic bar fridges were not proving effective in keeping vaccines and medicines sufficiently cool. To resolve this problem, Unjani Clinics partnered with medical refrigerator supplier Zero Medical and Johnson & Johnson, that provided funding for new, state-of-the-art Sure Chill AC and solar fridges for most of the Unjani Clinics.
These refrigerators maintain a temperature of between two and eight degrees for up to five days, so vaccines and medicines are kept safe and effective during power outages. Sure Chill technology will not form ice on the cabinet walls, so there is no risk of vaccines being frozen.
“Unjani Clinics has installed 33 mains-operated Sure Chill fridges, and one solar-powered model, which is being used in Hammanskraal, where there is no electricity supply,” says Lynda Toussaint, CEO of Unjani Clinics. “Unjani Clinics is now equipped with World Health Organisation-approved cold chain technology.”
“We partnered with Zero Medical because the company sponsored a gas stove, 40-litre freezer and two-plate stove for every Sure Chill fridge that Unjani Clinics acquired,” says Toussaint.
Unjani Clinics donated these sponsored goods to community-based non-profit organisations Kids Haven, Life Line, People Opposing Women Abuse and the Mali Martin Polekegong Centre.