Bognor Regis business saves lives with UK aid

Report
from Department for International Development
Published on 17 Jan 2019 View Original

A Bognor Regis business in West Sussex is helping children in some of the world’s poorest countries to receive lifesaving vaccines

Published 17 January 2019

From: Department for International Development and The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP

Polestar Cooling and their national partner Dulas produce solar-powered fridges that are used to store and preserve vaccines in countries where power supplies are often sporadic. Outside of safe temperatures, vaccines deteriorate and become unusable.

DFID, is working with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Polestar Cooling and Dulas to supply these life-saving solar fridges to Djibouti and Togo.

International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, said:

"From the telephone to the solar fridge, British invention and innovation continues to make a huge difference across the world."

"UK aid is a badge of hope for millions of people, and that starts with the work of fantastic Brits like those manufacturing these life-saving devices in Bognor Regis."

"Our work with Gavi not only protects over half of the world’s children from disease, but tackles outbreaks before they can reach our shores."

This month Dulas, which also has offices in Wales and Scotland, delivered 113 solar medical fridges to Togo, and last year sent 26 to Djibouti. Between 2015-2017 the company installed almost 2000 fridges with support from Gavi, reaching some of the world’s most vulnerable people. These fridges mean that children in countries like Burma and Sierra Leone are now being given life-saving vaccines.

Dulas invented the first ever solar-powered medical refrigerator in 1982 and today, is one of the world leaders in solar-powered medical equipment.

CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr Seth Berkley, said:

Vaccines are not like normal pharmaceuticals – they are extremely sensitive to temperature and can quickly become ineffective if they are not kept cold at all times.

That’s why innovative solar refrigerators like those produced here by Dulas are so important. They ensure that even the most remote community with no access to electricity can still protect their children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases.

Working with the private sector, we are bringing together a great partnership of British expertise, British business, and UK aid to save lives and empower communities across the globe.

Notes to Editors:

  • Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps to vaccinate over half of the world’s children.

  • DFID is Gavi’s biggest supporter, providing around a quarter of its funding.

  • Gavi focuses on the 68 poorest countries in the world, funding vaccines that prevent some of the world’s deadliest diseases for children, such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and measles.

  • The Dulas Solar Direct Drive refrigerators do not need to use a battery, which have short shelf-lives. Fridges with battery packs would need replacing every two years in hot countries however the solar direct drive does not need to be replaced. Its freeze-free technology means there is also no chance of a vaccine freezing, which renders it unusable.

  • Dulas have four offices in total across the UK, hiring around 80 staff. The Bognor Regis production facility is run by Polestar, which is 50% owned by Dulas and employs 19 staff. Dulas refrigerators are built to PQS specification, and all of the technology is produced under the strict audits necessary to maintain ISO14001 and ISO9001 standards. They are accredited by nine bodies and over the past 18 months, they have won or been shortlisted for 24 awards including the prestigious St. Andrews Prize for the Environment.

  • The work DFID supports through Gavi and Dulas supports Global Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being.