Faith based and MOH facilities in 15 counties in Kenya have received solar powered fridges to support immunization. Most of the benefitting facilities are located in the rural areas.
The fridges donated by the Solarchill Project, a consortium of several partners, will especially be useful in health facilities that are off-grid or in areas that experience frequent power cuts.
The benefitting facilities were carefully selected to meet this criteria. For some of the facilities, the SolarChill fridges came at an opportune time as their KEPI fridges had long broken down.
SolarChill combines environmentally friendly refrigeration with solar direct drive technology for off-grid cooling applications. Solar energy is stored in ice instead of lead batteries. SolarChill refrigerators do not use any ozone depleting or potent global warming substances.
Distribution of the solar-powered fridges was launched at a colourful ceremony held at AIC Olasiti Dispensary in Narok County on August 9, 2018.
The Chief Guest was HE. Hon. Samuel Kuntai Ole Tunai who was represented by CEC Health Hon. Vivian Sereti.
The CHAK delegation was led by Chairman Rev. Dr. Robert Lang’at and General Secretary Dr Samuel Mwenda. The event was also attended by local elected and opinion leaders.
During the event, CHAK offered free screening services for diabetes and hypertension while the County health department provided MNCH services in the Beyond Zero mobile clinic. The event was organized by CHAK, Narok County health department and AIC Health Ministries.
Speaking at the event, the Narok CEC Health Hon Sereti thanked CHAK for selecting eight health facilities in the county to receive the fridges, the largest consignment among the selected counties. She also hailed the good working relationship between CHAK and the county.
The solar powered fridges have been imported from Denmark and South Africa. The CHAK medical equipment programme, Health Care Technical Services is charged with installation of the fridges in the 36 benefitting health facilities. Each of the fridges comes with two solar panels. However, the fridges do not run on a battery. A small compartment inside the appliance holds the vaccines. A five-centimeter space between the vaccines compartment and the outside of the fridge holds an in-built cooling liquid which is responsible for maintaining the right temperatures, both during the day and at night.
Monitoring devices have been installed on the fridges to keep tabs on their performance. The devices which run on SIM cards will monitor the humidity and temperature of the fridges. There are also sensors that monitor performance of the solar panels. An on-line platform which will be used to monitor how the fridges are performing will be accessed by the supply companies, HCTS and the government. The data collected through the platform will also be used for research.