The Solar Direct Drive vaccine refrigerators – an innovation of the Haier Biomedical Ltd. Company, under the Chinese multinational consumer electronics and home appliances giant Haier Group Corporation – is now considered as an "ideal solution" for thousands of healthcare facilities across the East African country.
The Chinese biomedical company, in partnership with its Ethiopian partner Gedion Alula General Trading Company, also provided delivery of spare parts, training of supply chain and immunization focal persons both at federal and regional levels, as well as 10 years of warranty for its products, company representative Wang Wenming told Xinhua.
Tezeru Adeba, who leads local efforts in the immunization of children in a rural town in central Ethiopia, reckons the hardships local healthcare personnel endured to protect their children from chronic healthcare perils before a Chinese company set up innovative devices.
Even though some 35 health posts were established over the past years across small towns in Lume District of Ethiopia's largest Oromia regional state, some 100 km South of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Adeba said that a lack of adequate electricity supply in the area had posed a major challenge.
The situation has affected the vaccination of local children to cope with deadly diseases including Tuberculosis (TB), Malaria, and Polio, among others. "We have tried various ways to effectively protect children's health through timely vaccination services," said Adeba, who is also Mother and Children Health Coordinator of the district.
"Power-interruption for just a short period of time while the vaccines were stored inside a refrigerator at the health posts often forced us to discard the much-needed vaccines imported from abroad with higher government expenditure," she added.
According to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), despite Ethiopia's significant improvements over the past decades, only 38.5 percent of children between 12 and 23 months receive all basic vaccinations. UNICEF, which revealed "great disparities in terms of access to vaccination services between rural and urban areas," also advised that one of the key strategies to improve access and utilization of immunization services is to improve the cold chain system, especially at the health post level, Xinhua noted.
Officials of Gedion Alula General Trading Company, an Ethiopian company which installs Haier's high-end SDD products throughout the East African country told Xinhua on Wednesday that "Haier products are constantly witnessing the user experience."