Godrej appliances to contribute towards 30% reduction in global vaccine wastage
One of the major factors that render vaccines ineffective is the lack of a robust cold chain infrastructure. Many developing countries have inadequate cold chains – which means that optimal temperature-control mechanisms for the transport, storage and handling of vaccines are not in place.
According to a research estimate, approximately 151 million vaccines, equivalent to approximately $750 million, are lost annually due to improper refrigeration in developing countries. (Source: Visible Thinking – Duke Undergraduate research society. http://undergraduateresearch.
All vaccines lose potency on exposure to heat above 8°C, while some vaccines are affected when exposed to freezing temperatures. This damage is irreversible and can adversely impact anyone using such affected vaccines. It is therefore crucial that vaccines are stored at the ideal temperature range of 2-8 °C to avoid any wastage.
Godrej Appliances, one of the leading players in the home appliances industry, in partnership with UK-based Sure Chill Company, launched medical refrigerators with Sure Chill technology last year. These specialised refrigerators were designed especially to address the key need of providing precise cooling solutions for vaccines and blood, despite long power outages - common in upcountry remote areas in developing and underdeveloped countries. With holdover time of 13 days and just 2.5 hours of power requirement per day, the range was designed to handle extremities.
Taking this endeavour further, Godrej Appliances has expanded and strengthened its medical portfolio further by launching a range of 6 new models.
Keeping in mind the needs of urban and peri- urban areas where power outages are infrequent, the new Lite series is designed with a holdover period of 3 days which gives sufficient time to service and fix the product in case of any downtime.
The Lite series has been designed to offer 50% reduction in costs. In light of the limited budgets common to developing economies, this optimized series is expected to boost adoption of the superior Sure Chill Technology offered by Godrej Medical Refrigerators.
With the intent to further facilitate the government in its efforts towards 90% immunisation coverage - the mission adopted by Government for its Indradhanush program, Godrej Appliances has also developed an innovative standalone vaccine storage device in the form of a combined fridge freezer for remote health centres.
Currently, for every ILR , the health center has to install a deep freezer , which calls for multiple machines to be serviced and maintained, and downtime on any one affects the outreach programs significantly. Godrej's combo fridge freezer solution can also run on solar power - completely independently, and one such equipment can cater to 6 outreach programs in a week. This will give the government immense flexibility to set up more remote health facilities and boost actual immunisation coverage while its precision temperature control between 2-8°C will ensure maximum utilisation of vaccines.
Godrej Appliances has also identified blood storage as a space that needs technological innovation, as blood storage also requires maintenance of optimum temperature range of 2-6°C. Below 2°C, the blood haemolyses and transfusing heamolysed blood can cause renal failure and fatal bleeding problems and above 6°C blood is at the risk of bacterial contamination. Using the Sure chill technology, Godrej has developed innovative solutions for blood storage and will be focusing on making it available to hospitals and blood banks.
Since downtime of these machines affects the immunisation outreach programs and undermines immunisation coverage. Hence, the Godrej Smartcare service promise assumes critical importance here and we are committed to 48 hours of call closure in urban centers and 72 hours in rural centers. Backed by the assurance of 95% spares availability, wide service network and supported by longest hold over time in the product, this translates into reassuring 'always on' performance and no fear of vaccine wastage.
With this strong portfolio, Godrej aims to contribute to vaccine wastage efforts by 30 per cent in developing nations.
Speaking on the occasion Jamshyd Godrej, Managing Director and Chairman, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Ltd. said, “Immunisation is among the most powerful and cost -effective of all health interventions. Lack of immunisation not only affects families but also the nation's productivity and is a burden on the nation’s healthcare and social welfare system. Despite all the progress made on this front, effective immunization continues to be a major challenge globally. We believe that when it comes to immunization, the cost of wastage must not be measured in dollars but in the count of lives lost. Among the most critical of the barriers to effective immunization programs is lack of inadequate cold chain infrastructure. At Godrej, we understand that innovative mechanisms will need to be put in place to help developing countries increase immunization coverage and minimize wastage in order to further build upon the progress made so far. Godrej has always been at the forefront, consistently endeavoring to encourage initiatives promoting healthier communities. Through consistent efforts towards strengthening the medical cold chain infrastructure, Godrej aims to contribute towards 30% reduction in global vaccine wastage through its new range of medical refrigerators developed in collaboration with The SureChill Company UK. "
Peter Saunders, Chairman, The Sure Chill Company-UK, said, "We are delighted to partner with Godrej Appliances to extend the reach of the Sure Chill technology around the world. We have the potential to save millions of lives. There can be no greater motivation. Traditional cooling technologies don’t protect vaccines effectively. They either fail to sustain cooling when power is lost or expose vaccines to freezing temperatures due to over cooling, resulting in damaged ineffective vaccines and compromised immunization programmes around the world."
"The Sure Chill technology, which is already used in over 30 countries, creates a natural and internal energy store that is capable of providing a perfect, constantly chilled storage environment in areas where there is an intermittent power supply. And if there is no power at all, as if often the case in upcountry areas, the system can be teamed with solar power with exactly the same results. With upto 13 days of cooling in ambient temperatures of 43ËšC with no power at all, the technology is miles ahead of existing conventional ILRs,"Saunders said.
Kamal Nandi, Business Head and EVP, Godrej Appliances, added, "We have always believed that innovation can help address the toughest of challenges - cold chain infrastructure is not an exception. In partnership with The Sure Chill Company, we launched a breakthrough technology in medical refrigeration last year. Our products have been received very well in the market and have been exported to 10 other countries."