Childhood vaccinations are one of the most important preventive health interventions for infants and children worldwide. A strong example of the impact of vaccination is the estimated 71% worldwide reduction in measles deaths between 2000 and 2011, largely the result of accelerated measles vaccination campaigns (1).
One of the challenges for providing sustainable vaccine programs for children in Western Province is the availability of cold chain fridges that can store vaccines in a correct temperature range. The CMSFHP will be updating cold chain equipment in several health facilities with new technology solar ‘direct drive’ vaccine fridges. Direct drive vaccine fridges have been specifically designed to maintain temperatures in the correct range for vaccines for several days, even in the absence of sunlight. Direct drive fridges maintain temperatures due to design and insulation materials so they do not require batteries and so very limited ongoing maintenance is needed. This makes them ideal for remote PNG locations. The model we have chosen is World Health Organization approved.
1. World Health Organization. Measles Fact Sheet No. 286 February 2013. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs286/en/ accessed on 19 January 2014.