By Janet Fang
Posting in Energy
Hospitals in remote Zimbabwe, where the power can be unreliable, are making sure their vaccines don't spoil during power failures and generator outages.
For a hospital serving a remote community in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo province, if the power fails and the backup generator is offline, staff must rush out of their homes in the middle of the night and drive several miles to stash their vaccine stock in a fridge in the provincial capital.
Now, a pilot project hopes to solve the obstacles by using surplus electricity from cellphone towers to run fridges that chill those perishable vaccines. New Scientist reports.
The idea was suggested by Harvey Rubin of the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, and now it’s being tried out at 10 church-run hospitals across Zimbabwe – with the backing of Econet Wireless, a cellphone provider based in Johannesburg.
To keep their towers working reliably in areas where the power often fails (or the masts are off the grid), cellphone firms have installed generators and sometimes solar panels.
These then, can be used to help maintain the cold chain, the weakest link in efforts to immunize children against diseases like polio, measles, and diphtheria.
- To be sure that power glitches wouldn't cause problems, they’re using fridges by UK-based True Energy, which can keep cool for 10 days without power, even if temperatures reach just above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The fridges are either housed in a shelter beneath the cellphone tower, or in the hospital if it’s nearby.
- The fridges have sensors to monitor temperature inside and out, and to detect when the door is opened.
- This data is relayed back via the cellphone network, allowing Econet and partners to know immediately if anything goes wrong.
In India, Rubin's non-profit organization, Energize the Chain, is in talks about a controlled experiment to confirm if sites powered by cellphone towers have less vaccine spoilage. (Vials of vaccine can be fitted with labels that darken with exposure to heat.) Meanwhile in Kenya, Energize the Chain hopes to launch a pilot project involving 10 or more sites, with the backing of both the Kenyan and US governments.
[Via New Scientist]
Image by .Larry Page via Flickr
May 31, 2012
... and that's just the tip of the iceberg. http://www.naturalnews.com/011764.html
Why spend money tapping into a generator that someone else paid for or relocating stores of vaccines away from the hospital to take advantage of someone elses power source? How about they install a small generator or solar panels at the hospital and be power independent? It seems like people are always looking for the free lunch or a band aid instead of a long term solution?
But I wonder how they are convincing the cellular providers to use generators big enough to supply the tower and refrigerators.Even very efficient refrigerators need some electricity.
Thimerosal was removed from vaccines used in California and the UK more than 20 years ago. A long term study of tens of thousands of kids confirmed that the autism rate continued to go up in both areas even after Thimerosal was out of the picture. New research in both areas is looking into environmental factors like household cleaning products and pesticides being the cause. The new thinking is that multiple causes of brain damage to infants and children would help explain the broad spectrum of autistic disorders. As well as the sometimes late onset, 2 and 3 years old, of symtoms seen in some children. The obsession with vaccines wasted years of research time and probably injured thousands of kids.