Electricity-free fridges to revolutionise medicine in rural areas

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Fact: vaccines save lives.

In fact in 2011 Unicef estimated that 2 to 3 million children lives are saved each year simply because they were vaccinated against common diseases while an additional 1.5 million children died in 2011 because they were not.

While first world countries are having to deal with parents not vaccinating their children out of a misguided allegiance to lies in part perpetuated by former Hollywood actress, some third world countries are struggling with the problem of not being able to get vaccines on the ground to save lives. It’s a problem that means that “one in five children is not being reached with vital vaccines due to social or geographical exclusion, lack of resources, weak health systems or conflicts such as those raging today in Syria and parts of West Africa,” according the report from Unicef.

One of the biggest problems in getting vaccines to certain countries in South-East Asia and Africa is a lack of electricity to keep the vaccines cold on their journey into these remote areas.

Meet the Sure Chill. It’s a fridge that doesn’t need electricity to stay cool in fact once disconnected from the loving flow of electrons from a nearby wall plug, one of the beefier Super Chill models has the ability to keep its contents cold for up to 35 days. 

It manages this by using a unique property of water that allows the Sure Chill fridge to maintain a 4 degrees Celsius temperature which just happens to be the perfect temperature to keep Vaccines nice and fresh while they’re being transported.

These fridges aren’t just a pipe dream either, in fact there are currently more than 200 modified Sure Chill fridges sponsored by Unicef and the Gates Foundation being used to deliver vaccines in the Philippines. The fridges have been outfitted with solar panels to ensure that they can keep the vaccines stored within them fresh for even longer but the fridges can also be ‘recharged’ by plugging them into a wall socket or simply replacing a layer of ice at the top of them.

[Image and Source – FastCo]

David Greenway

David Greenway

David is a technology enthusiast with an insatiable thirst for information. He tends to get excited over new hardware and will often be the one in the room going "Its got 17 cores, 64GB of RAM and a 5" 4K flexible OLED display, oh it makes phone calls too?" Currently uses: Too many phones. Wants: World peace... and more phones.