Festus Ahon, ASABA
DELTA State Government has signed an agreement with a private firm, Koolboks for the supply and maintenance of solar refrigerators to primary healthcare centres across the state under the Public-Private Partnership.
Director-General of Delta State Contributory Healthcare Scheme, Dr Ben Nkechika who signed on behalf of the State Government, said the agreement was aimed at a more effective healthcare delivery in the state.
Apart from being the supplier, Nkechika said Koolboks would also be responsible for the maintenance of the solar refrigerators, lamenting that lack of electricity had always led to the compromise of the effectiveness of vaccines in rural health facilities.
He said: “There is a remote temperature monitoring where at any time you are sure that the freezer is working. If for any reason the freezer has a problem, it automatically sends a message, so before the temperature range gets out of hand, there is an immediate intervention to safeguard the vaccines.
“Along with the cooling service, the freezer is able to generate power into the facility. The ice they form is converted to power, and it is able to power certain sections of the facility. So it is a freezer that stores vaccines and also generate electricity, so it is killing two birds with one stone.
“This will ensure that our vaccines are safe; enhance our immunisation capacity, and provide electricity. We have distributed these freezers to all primary healthcare centres and we made sure certain critical components – the labour ward, the consulting room, the delivery room are all powered by solar”.
On his part, Customer Relationship Service, CRS, Manager of Koolboks, Lolade Esther Alonge said a pilot scheme was conducted in the state which proved the effectiveness of the solar refrigerators.
Alonge said the company was deploying 15 units of the freezers in the first place, adding that Koolboks was delighted with the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG mandate to provide access to healthcare and electricity.