Project Lead(s): Hanif Montazeri
Around 9 million children fail to get vaccinated in India each year, and are therefore vulnerable to diseases like tuberculosis, measles, and diphtheria. Not being vaccinated is more common in the rural areas of India, where 70 percent of the population resides. This is due in part to scarce or complete lack of electricity to power refrigerators, which are required to keep vaccines cool.
Vaccines are required to always be stored in low temperatures between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. Currently, ice lined refrigerators are used to maintain the low temperatures for the entire day, requiring 8 hours of electricity. Vaccines often have to be consumed on-delivery and cannot reach or be stored in rural areas which experience voltage fluctuations, denying vaccination to many.
This project has developed an inexpensive technology that can be added to current ice lined refrigerators and vaccine carriers to increase the time of cooling without electricity. The holdover time for the new vaccine carries would be extended by a minimum of 10 hours. The project aims to significantly increase the reach and distribution of vaccines to areas with no or fluctuating electricity supply.