A Powys firm is helping to provide solar powered refrigerators to battle the pandemic in the developing world.

Machynlleth based Dulas recently organised a live interactive event in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, to showcase the importance of Solar Direct Drive refrigerators to store essential vaccines in areas of the country that do not have access to a reliable source of power.

The successful event brought together various partners from UN agencies, donor agencies and healthcare providers from within the country and was carried out in conjunction with their in-country partners, Sinco Medical Supplies Ltd.

There was a demonstration of the company's combined solar refrigerator/freezer on display and a live question and answer session with Catherine McLennan, Head of International Sales, who joined the event via video link from Dulas HQ in mid-Wales. A range of speakers underlined the challenges of a reliable cold chain infrastructure and the need to ensure a system is in place to protect life-saving vaccines.

A highlight of the event was the donation of the VC150SDD fridge freezer to the Ministry of Health. Dr Baba Samson, Director General of Health Strengthening Programmes, attended the event and identified a local children’s hospital (the Alsaba Children’s Hospital) as a beneficiary of the donation from Dulas.

"South Sudan has many regions that lack reliable electricity - this is a huge challenge when delivering vaccines that need to be chilled to remain viable," said Ms McLennan.

"The country is currently gearing up for mass vaccination against Covid-19, and having a reliable cold chain infrastructure is vital for any vaccination programme. In areas where power supply is intermittent, solar powered refrigerators form an essential part of medical care facilities.

"While Covid-19 is an immediate concern right now, with proper care, our refrigerators will form an essential part of the healthcare infrastructure within rural communities in the future, enabling the implementation of routine immunisation programmes for generations to come."