Over the next six months, Godrej Appliances is set to commission 11,856 units of vaccine refrigerators and deep freezers across the country to support the Universal Immunisation Programme under the Health Ministry.
This follows a recent tender they won, worth ₹95 crore, for 8,767 units of ice-lined medical refrigerators and 3,089 units of horizontal deep freezers, a note from the company said. And it is part of the ongoing UIP scale-up.
While there is no information on whether this could extend to the Covid vaccine — when one will be available — the company is ready to support the same as and when the programme is rolled out, a company official said, responding to a query.
As for the advanced medical equipment, they will be delivered at various State depots across the nation in 22 locations and will be commissioned at numerous government hospitals, district hospitals and health centres, strengthening the cold chain for the massive immunisation programme run by the Centre.
“Powered by Sure Chill technology, Godrej medical refrigerators help maintain the optimum temperature range of 2°C to 8 °C — a necessity for vaccine preservation and blood storage,” the note said. The refrigerator maintains its temperature even in case of power outages for as long as 8-12 days in ambient temperatures of 43˚C. In regions without electric supply, the equipment can be teamed with solar power to deliver the same results, it added.
“On the other hand, Godrej medical freezers with D-cool technology use a D-shaped copper refrigerating tube for more surface contact and large heat exchange area for delivering high refrigeration efficiency. It provides precision cooling at -20 °C,” it added.
Kamal Nandi, Business Head and Executive Vice-President, Godrej Appliances, said in a statement that the company’s medical refrigerators were equipped to deliver “precision cooling of 4°C at all times despite power cuts” and was at par with international quality standards.
Further, the note said these products were eco-friendly and used 100 per cent CFC-, HFC- and HCFC-free R600A and the world’s greenest R290 refrigerant.
Jaishankar Natarajan, Associate Vice-President and Head (New Business Development), Godrej Appliances, added: “Vaccines exposed to either more than 8°C or less than 2°C lose potency and this results in significant losses both in human terms — the end-user does not get proper immunisation — and economic — the government has to then discard costly vaccines at zero salvage value.” The products are manufactured in India, the note added.
According to a Health Ministry report, lack of adequate power supply (from extended/frequent power failures) is a key challenge for last-mile immunisation infrastructure in India.
The company further added that its service arm, Godrej SmartCare, was committed to 48-hour call closures in urban centres and 72 hours in rural centres.