Highlighting video about the success of Econet Wireless and Energize the Chain in delivering much needed vaccines to remote parts of Zimbabwe. See 'Zimbabwe Project' under 'News & Updates' for more details.
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Energize the Chain Initiative
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Over 2 million people worldwide die of vaccine preventable diseases every year. The healthcare quandary is less the supply of vaccines but rather the effective storage of the vaccines to maintain their potency and effectiveness. Many vaccines require refrigeration from the point of manufacture to patient administration, thus presenting delivery conditions with significant obstacles in the least developed countries. Maintaining the vaccination “cold chain” from the central distribution site to the rural countryside is critical but depends on an energy source available in even the most remote corners of the world. By applying the power of today’s communications technology to this problem, we can maintain the vaccination cold chain in remote locations.
Energize the Chain (EtC) was founded to solve the missing link in the delivery of vaccines to the world’s poorest. Our mission is to eradicate vaccine preventable deaths worldwide by making effective vaccines as accessible as global cell phone coverage. We intend to create an economically and technologically sustainable energy infrastructure for the effective transportation and storage of vaccines. As mobile phone coverage blankets the globe, harnessing the energy potential of telecommunication towers provides the means to achieve this infrastructure. EtC envisions a world with universal access to effective vaccines and an end to the senseless deaths from vaccine preventable diseases.
- To provide the energy sources (from both "excess" and additional power sources) necessary for the global delivery of viable immunizations that require constant refrigeration.
- To couple the growth of mobile device usage with the growth of available immunizations in developing nations by partnering with both the private sector and government agencies.
- To create sustainable infrastructures that will ultimately be maintained independently by the developing countries.
To achieve our stated mission, we intend to pursue these objectives:
- Establish relationships with both cell tower companies and cell tower operators (to correlate the vaccine cold chain with the global coverage of cell phone towers).
- Identify key stakeholders and partners in the government.
- Form partnerships with private companies and their corporate social responsibility branches for effective vaccine delivery.
- Forge relationships with pharmaceutical companies to reach vaccines at lowest cost possible to those most in need.
- Identify reliable and affordable security for the transportation and delivery of vaccines, ranging from ice pack freezing to vaccine refrigerators.
- Utilize technical and business expertise of EtC members in guiding partner agencies on the ground on improved processes and technological innovations.
- Implement pilot program on the ground and task EtC members to evaluate outcomes of effectiveness and impact.
- Educate the appropriate profile and number of individuals in the inoculation of vaccines.