Our project supports 14 healthcare facilities in our partner communities in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia regions with know-how and equipment to introduce so called cold chains. These are needed to preserve the efficiency of vaccines and other medicines.

Nowadays every healthcare facility in every town or settlement, big or small, of regional- or district level must deal with vaccines. Such demanding immunobiological materials, as vaccines, are not easy to handle.

Too hot, too cold, too much sun or other factors can result in vaccine to lose its efficiency.

To prevent this, there’s a system in place, called the “cold chain”, which includes specially trained staff, special equipment and strict temperature control.

14 healthcare facilities in communities that we support in Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro and Kharkiv Oblasts face challenges in respecting all the levels of the cold chain.

Some have very old equipment to correctly perform the temperature control at all points, some lack trained staff, and some — both.

Together with our partner, the Academy of Family Medicine of Ukraine, we developed a checklist to assess the cold chain the healthcare facilities in our partner communities have in place. We tested the checklist and assessed the needs, based on which we developed the system of trainings for medical staff in charge for the cold chain in the facilities and the list of necessary equipment.

Now, the process of procurement for the modern equipment has started. The list of equipment will vary from refrigerators and freezers to vaccine carrier systems.

The handover of the equipment is already planned for July.

The plan is also to assist the communities in developing the standard instructions for the staff, trainings and workshops on the topic of vaccination, crisis communication and biosafety.

This initiative is part of our contribution to the worldwide vaccination campaign to fight COVID-19 and strengthen our partners in provision of the healthcare services to the population of the conflict affected region.