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Portable Solar Powered Vaccine Coolers

Portable vaccine coolers enable caregivers to store their vaccines at the right temperatures using sun power as they move around homes.

Photo of Brian Ouma

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Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one sentence (required 250 Characters)

greenhub aims to reduce spoilage of vaccines in areas that lack electricity to store and cool vaccines within developing countries by providing caregivers, NGOs and medical companies with portable vaccines coolers that are powered only by the sun.

Explain the idea (less than 2,000 characters)

Due to the lack of electricity in some developing and under developed regions of the world, even basic medical facilities fail to reach the local residents. A problem that is compounded by the fact that many of them are tropical countries and good cooling storage units are vital for preservation of perishable goods and medicines. We intend to help communities in such areas benefit from a better access to vaccines through our portable units that can be placed in health centres, carried on bikes and even by hand as they are quite small. All the while being powered by the sun which freely available in preserving the vaccines as they are being administered to mostly children and some adults. Developing healthier and happier communities as individuals who can not make it to hospitals and medical centres where electricity could only be found can now get vaccinations in their homes through our potable vaccine coolers. The cooler is made up of a fibre glass shell which is both tough and heat resistant, ensuring that the vaccines remain cool despite the weather. It is also sized large enough to hold around 0.5 litre of vials, enough for around 500 people at one go, ensuring that caregivers have maximum reach. It is also small enough to ensure it can be carried on a bike or even a shoulder. A solar panel is attached to the top surface to provide the energy, which stored in a battery that is used to power a thermo-electric cooler. A small device capable of cooling the space down to a temperature of 10 - 15 degrees Celsius, which is perfect for vaccine storage as opposed to the 30 - 40 degrees Celsius experienced by most of such countries i.e sub Saharan Africa and India.

Which part(s) of the world does this idea target?

  • North Africa
  • Eastern Africa
  • Southern Africa
  • Western Africa
  • Southern Asia

Geographic Focus (less than 250 Characters)

Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern sides of Africa i.e Kenya, largely in their rural parts where sunlight is in plenty but there is lack of electricity and the Southern parts of Asia i.e India, Pakistan, which have similar characteristics.

Who are your end users and how well do you know them? (750 characters)

Our end users are largely children who are in dire need of vaccinations but also adults who live in areas where there is a poor access to electricity and thus refrigeration solutions for medicines. As a company that develops sustainable solutions, we've been able to develop Eco friendly clinics that run on solar from where I was able to interact with marginalised communities who need such solutions. Caregivers would complain frequently on vaccine spoilage due to lack of proper storage solutions and are forced to make a number of trips to and from the hospital in replenishing their vaccines as they administer them to the locals. They will largely be our assets in pushing our solutions to various other care givers in the country.

How is the idea unique? (750 Characters)

Conventional compressor ran cooling devices also pose many drawbacks pertaining to energy efficiency and their use of CFC refrigerants, both of which indirectly pose an impending risk of global warming. Although various researches are going on for better alternatives to CFC Refrigerants, not much progress has been made so far and more so in developing countries like Kenya. Hence instead of turning to conventional air conditioning systems, other solutions which can cool thing effectively and efficiently need to be devised. Successful implementation of efficient cooling mechanisms will see us not only save on electricity bills but also control the levels of greenhouse gases rendering our world more sustainable for our future generations.

Idea Proposal Stage (Select 1)

  • Prototype: We have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

How many months are required for the project idea? (140 characters)

Having made a prototype out of wood and tested it, it will take us six months to make a full scale product and test it in the communities.

Organization Name (less than 140 characters)

greenhub

Type of Submitter

  • We are a For-Profit Startup or Startup Social Enterprise

Organizational Characteristics

  • Youth-led organization

Organization Location (less than 140 Characters)

Southgate Plazza, Mkoma road, South B, Nairobi, Kenya.

What is the current scale of your organization’s work?

  • National (expansive reach within one country)

Website URL

www.greenhub.co.ke

Tell us more about your organization/company (1-2 sentences)

greenhub is a sustainable design and consultancy firm that works to guides individuals and companies towards developing affordable and eco-friendly solutions and investments. The portable, solar powered, cooler is hence seen as part and parcel of our companies work in developing sustainable solutions for the health industry and the communities at large.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (750 characters)

We intend to work with health care givers by providing them with the coolers and they provide us with the access to such communities and health centers. We don't intend to sell the coolers to health care givers but to gain valuable information that can enable us gain data on refining the product further from which then it can be sold to private companies, NGOs and government bodies across the world so as to ensure sustainability.

How many people are on your team?

4

Tell us more about you and your team

Brian Ouma, CEO of greenhub, guiding the team to deliver the project in time and in budget. He has bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering majoring on energy. Mwashimba Mtalaki, COO, in charge of all the operations required to develop the cooler, including logistics, organising roles. He has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering majoring on production. Brian Chege, CFO of greenhub, in charge of all the company finances ensuring monies are not misappropriated and well reported back to the funders. He has a bachelor's degree in Finance. Flora Oloo, design lead of greenhub who ensures all the products and solutions are designed to our standards. She a bachelor's degree in Architecture. We prioritise projects in terms of ensuring that we constantly have ongoing projects and ideas being tested out, making this an interesting project for us. As a mix of designers and engineers we will act the owners of this projects, engaging the suppliers, communities and partners.

11 comments

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Photo of Paul Collins
Team

Hello Brian and team. I read with interest your submission and also the information on your website. I think it a good idea that we open up a dialogue regarding the challenge as there may be some mutual benefits if there are ways to collaborate.
Best wishes. Paul

Photo of Ashley Tillman
Team

Hi Paul Collins and Brian Ouma excited for the two of you to potentially connect Paul's also doing exciting work around solar and cold chain, Ensuring access to safe supply of temperature sensitive vaccine even in regions with unstable or non existing electrical provision. 

Photo of Paul Collins
Team

Hi Ashley, thanks for your comment, and yes it would be good to connect Brian, let's do that.
Makes you think what we could do to help with medicine and mobile provision in the light of Cyclone Idai...

Photo of Paul Collins
Team

Hello Brian, would you and colleagues like to communicate and establish a link?
Regards. Paul

Photo of Brian Ouma
Team

Hi Paul, we would love to collaborate on the same, sorry my about the late reply. But you can reach me on ouma@greenhub.co.ke. Looking forward to your feedback. Regards

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