What’s New! – The Necessity of a Vaccine Fridge
Late last year (2018) our technical team installed a High Frequency (HF) Radio in Kabori a remote village in the West Sepik Province. The HF radio installation was Installed in a local pastor’s house, part of which he dedicated to serve as a health clinic in Kabori. This happens to be the only health clinic for the community in Kabori. Despite the lack of proper health equipment and medicines the local pastor has gone out of his way to help provide basic health-care treatment for people in need of medical attention.
Upon entering the clinic, the CRMF technical team saw a narrow bamboo bed placed at the very corner of the clinic which served has a bed for patients and an old broken-down stove which was used as a table to accommodate a shelf and the HF Radio. The remaining part of the old stove was also used as a sort of storage cupboard to store small supplies of medicines wrapped up in plastic bags.
CRMF Technician, David Feka who was in charge of this installation said, “It really saddens me to see the extent of the absence of much-needed health services in remote communities like Kabori.”
There have been countless other instances where CRMF has seen first-hand the lack of basic health services, equipment and medicines. Majority of the radio calls that CRMF receives from remote communities are mostly requests for medical evacuation simply because, remote clinics lack the necessary equipment and medicines to attend to and help patients. Proper arrangements are then made to transport and transfer patients to a better equipped and advanced health facility to attend to the critical needs of the patient(s).
Arrival of the new Vaccine Fridge.
As a result of these calls for medical evacuation, along with the round trips for radio installations, CRMF has become increasingly aware of the need for basic health equipment and so we have facilitated for this need by including a new sale item to our list of stock, a vaccine fridge. This vaccine fridge contains all the requirements to provide safe and proper storage for vaccines and medicines and any other samples including blood storage’s. It maintains the optimum temperature range of 2 – 8 degrees Celsius and in case of power outage this temperature can be maintained for as long as 8 -12 days. And for regions without electricity supply, the fridge is operated on solar power, thereby making it ideal for health clinics in the remote regions of PNG.
A high demand for the vaccine fridge already exists in remote clinics across PNG, and it comes as no surprise that a number of orders have already been placed for these as people are now aware that they can be purchased from CRMF. The very first vaccine fridge was tested out in our workshop by CRMF technicians to confirm its functionality and so far, we’ve had a first purchase by Kompiam Rural Hospital in Wabag, Enga Province.
This is a completely new and different item to be included as part of CRMF’s selling items, and we are grateful to God for the recognition of the real need for what would be considered a basic equipment for health and science research facilities elsewhere – the vaccine fridge. We also thank God for making it possible for CRMF to be an avenue for interested individuals and organisations to meet this need.