Ikhaya Automation Systems (Ikhaya), specialist leaders in temperature monitoring solutions for the pharmaceutical industry among others, has partnered with the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to aid vaccination efforts across Africa. As an accredited UNICEF supplier as of January 2021, Ikhaya will be supplying specially manufactured, preconfigured and automated temperature monitoring and
control solutions. These systems will ensure that the cold chain on essential medications, such as the Covid-19 vaccine, remains intact, a challenging prospect in the African market.
“Many medications, and especially the Covid-19 vaccinations, need to be kept within very narrow and specific temperature ranges, otherwise they could be rendered ineffective and possibly even be dangerous. With our solution, designed specifically for the African market, UNICEF can reduce wastage, improve efficiency and speed efforts to achieve herd immunity,” says Praba Moonsamy, Managing Director at Ikhaya.
In order to attain UNICEF certification, Ikhaya first needed to obtain World Health Organisation (WHO) accreditation, which involves conforming to global technical and industry standards. This in turn requires a number of technical accreditations, including ISO 9001-2015 and Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) certification. In addition, the WHO tests all equipment to ensure conformity and accuracy, audits the manufacturing facilities and processes, and verifies that the manufacturing organisation is sustainable. Ikhaya has been WHO accredited since May 2019, enabling them to pursue the UNICEF tender when it was released.
“These certifications and accreditations give all of our customers peace of mind and confidence that our solutions conform to the highest global standards. Furthermore, a local certified manufacturer and supplier is hugely beneficial, as solutions must be recalibrated every year to maintain accuracy. We offer this service to all of our clients, no matter where the products are installed,” says Eckart Zollner, Business Development Director at Ikhaya.
Automated temperature monitoring and control has a massive roll to play in the rollout of vaccines in Africa, reducing wastage and stock losses and guaranteeing efficiency. With intelligent solutions that continuously monitor and analyse the data in real time, alerts can be triggered, and interventions implemented to ensure the cold chain can remain unbroken.
“Proactive technology can save both money and lives when it comes to the transport of medications such as vaccines. This is not limited to the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine either, but to all essential medications that need to be delivered across Africa. As a UNICEF accredited partner, we are doing our part to solve one of the biggest challenges this continent currently faces,” Moonsamy concludes.