There’s no denying that there is an energy crisis in Africa. The challenge may not be on building the systems but on the state of politics in African nations. Most homes are not connected to the electricity grid and this is no exception for healthcare facilities. This is becoming a problem especially in the storage and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Fortunately, this may come to an end with the application of solar power refrigeration. Read on to know how the fishing communities in Sub-Saharan African are benefiting from Koolbooks freezers and how these solar components can be used to store vaccines.
A fisherman named Antoni Fianni takes on a boat away from his home island, south of Ivory Coast. He intends to do his regular work, which is to catch fishes. As he takes out his freezer, something seems out of the ordinary.
The freezer is not the usual one as it is solar-powered. In a place that is far from the electricity grid, such a device proves to be very useful, especially in a business where perishable goods are the main commodities. The freezer is much preferable compared to using icebox containers since ice has become costly.
Fishermen can put their fishes in an ice-filled container for up to 3 days before delivering to the market. For Antoni Fianni, his catch can be preserved up to 10 days before delivering to the market. He and his wife pay the cost of Koolboks in installments coming from the revenue of the fish sold in the market.
Hardworking individuals like Antoni Fianni are among the reasons why Koolboks has been conceived. The solar power refrigeration equipment is developed by PEG Africa, which has its headquarters in Ghana. The company has been conducting such projects in remote fishing communities in Ivory Coast and Senegal.
The funding from Power Africa is responsible for making the solar project come true. Power Africa is a network of public and private groups that are established by USAID. Not only is PEG Africa focusing on solar power refrigeration but also on other solar-powered systems for applications like off-grid health centers.
According to Thierry Adonis, PEG Africa’s CEO (Ivory Coast), the state of chain technology (all relating to refrigerators and freezers) can be very important in battling against a global health crisis. It is very crucial to note that almost 60 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s healthcare facilities have no direct access to electricity.
Role of “Koolboks” In Fight Against COVID-19
As the world continues its struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic, Koolboks is regarded with high value. Now that there are vaccines readily available, the issue at hand is transporting them to remote areas. The vaccines have yet to prove its effectiveness in a massive population but presently, it is the only counterattack we all have against the virus.
One person needs 2 dosages, wherein each dose is administered 3 weeks apart from the other. From the manufacturer to the intended drop-off, the vaccine needs to be refrigerated at all times. For a place far from the electricity grid, Koolboks can greatly help in the distribution of vaccines from the main health centers to the island settlements.
People like Antoni Fianni and the fishing community at large can now have access to the vaccines so as to protect them from the dangers of getting the virus. With the solar pad freezer, hospitals in Africa may have just found the solution they need for mass immunization.
Health care facilities in remote areas can be pitiful to watch or experience. Once the importance of equipment like Koolboks is realized, there might be a chance that governments and non-profit organizations will increase their efforts in improving Africa’s health care system to combat the spread of COVID-19.