B Medical Systems set to roll out in-transit temperature-control technology for vaccine in Africa
Africa gets boost to fight Covid -19 pandemic as B Medical Systems, a global player in the vaccine cold chain industry, has announced plans to roll out an in-transit temperature control technology for vaccine and cold specimen transportation in the continent. A statement said the technology which was recently unveiled for the supply of Covid 19 vaccines will facilitate the safe delivery of vaccines to remote areas in their right temperature.
The innovation, the first of its kind in the industry, according to the statement, has received a Performance, Quality and Safety (PQS) prequalification from the World Health Organization (WHO) and can reliably transport vaccines or any other specimens in a 2-8 °C temperature range. It is expected to solve the perennial challenge of vaccines wastage in many countries caused by the lack of a reliable end-to-end cold chain movement of vaccines especially to remote areas in their right temperature.
The successful rollout of immunization programs depends on the quality of the vaccine supply chain and the ability to provide a cold chain until the last mile. However, with several health centers located in extremely remote, rural, hostile terrains with minimal road infrastructure, delivering an end-to-end cold chain can be challenging.
The Luxembourg based healthcare company, the statement said, has partnered with Toyota Tsusho Corporation to create a refrigerated vaccine transport vehicle which has also received the Performance, Quality and Safety (PQS) prequalification from WHO to facilitate movement for the vaccines in a safe environment. The WHO prequalifies products and devices so that member states and UN purchasing agencies are assured of their suitability for use in immunization programs. Countries across the world can now procure this solution for the reliable transportation of vaccines.
“Last-mile has always been the weakest link in the vaccine cold chain. In several regions across the world, the last mile health centers are in remote areas that are difficult to access due to the terrain and infrastructure. We are extremely excited to bring such a solution to the market along with Toyota. The refrigerated vaccine vehicle can easily travel through rough terrains and narrow roads delivering vaccines even to the most remote health posts, thereby ensuring an effective last-mile vaccine cold chain delivery. The design of the solution also ensures that none of the vials are broken during the delivery process, eliminating vaccine wastage, which is otherwise common in refrigerated trucks. We are very happy that the product received the PQS prequalification. The combined solution has the power to revolutionize the way vaccines are delivered until the last mile,” said Luc Provost, CEO of B Medical Systems in the statement.
Provost added that the company is now in talks with various countries in Africa with a view to introducing this technology to their markets.
“We see this technology as a good platform for the international framework of COVAX, co-managed by Vaccine Alliance Gavi and managing the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out in Nigeria, which seeks to distribute vaccines for COVID-19 fairly to developing countries and its use as a means of transportation for COVID-19 vaccines is also expected. The companies have started the manufacturing of refrigerated vehicles and expect to ship the first batch in the coming weeks,” he added.
The refrigerated vehicle has a B Medical Systems vaccine refrigerator with a storage capacity of 396L incorporated into a Toyota Land Cruiser 78. The vaccine refrigerator is powered via the vehicle while in motion and can also be powered by an external regular electric supply when parked. The vehicle provides almost a day’s autonomy, in the absence of any power supply. This solution also has temperature loggers that provide an overview of the storage conditions. The product brings together the legacy and expertise of Toyota Tsusho Corporation and B Medical Systems in the field of automobiles and vaccine cold chain, respectively.
B Medical Systems, the statement said has been working with governments across the world for the effective and efficient rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines. Its recent projects include the COVID-19 vaccine cold chain projects in across 50+ countries across the world, including Nigeria, Ivory Cost, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, France, Germany, UK, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Italy, USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nepal, Indonesia .