IMEDReads Limited has introduced a new vaccine storage device known as Arktek as part of measure to reduce vaccine wastage and preventable diseases.
Speaking at the product launch in Lagos recently, a Director at IMEDReads, Dr. Atinuke Uwajeh, noted that Arktek would be able to keep whatever is put into it for considerate length of time at the designated temperature.
She also noted that the device has been designed to keep vaccines at the acceptable cold chain temperature for minimum of 35 days, without the use of electricity and only using ice-packs.
“It is called a super thermos which means that it is able to keep whatever is put into it for considerate length of time at the designated temperature. For the Arktek, what has been done with it, is to make it to keep vaccines at the acceptable cold chain temperature for minimum of 35 days, without the use of electricity and only using ice-packs.
“When we look at one of the challenges to Immunisation is the ability to keep those vaccines at the acceptable temperatures so that they are able to still hold their potency. Even the ability to transport those vaccines from where we received them from to where they would be used, it will still be able to maintain that temperature,” she said.
Uwaje further stated that the device is quite rugged; therefore said that it can be put into a canoe, car or truck to move it to wherever it is needed to be used.
She added that the device suits the Nigeria terrain, adding that it was made for low resourced centres, “presently, we are trying to get private sector sensitized about it.”
In his remarks, the Chairman, Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Lagos State Chapter, Dr. Tunji Akintade, said the device is that would change the dynamics of vaccines in the country, adding that rate of vaccination was at its peak during the Governor Lateef Jakande regime which had 80percent coverage.
He expressed displeasure at the rate which vaccination dropped, stating that vaccination is a means of disease prevention, “under the expanded programme on immunisation, there are limited diseases that can be prevented.”
Akintade added: “With this device, it makes possible you store your vaccine. Vaccine has a potency and expiration time. It is not the date that matters, but the cold chain. From the start of the production to the end of the consumption, it has to be at that temperature 0-4c. I think it is a revolution. If we speak to the government about this device, a serious government will take advantage of this.”
Continuing, Uwaje said: “Presently, we are trying to engage the government. It is something that is deeply needed in order to improve healthcare delivery in the country.
“This initiative is being done by Global Good, which is the inventive arm of Billy and Melinda Gates Foundation. IMEread has gone into partnership to be the sole distributor of the Arktek in Nigeria. In terms of cost, we are hoping we will be able to get Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and philanthropists to fund it and make it available enough. It would help reduce vaccine wastage and address vaccine preventable diseases.”