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Multi-power operated cold chain equipment, Jharkhand
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Subject Area="Infrastructure and Equipment." Objective="Cold chain maintenance."
Details for Reform Option "Multi-power operated cold chain equipment, Jharkhand"

Background: Jharkhand, being a newly formed state, leaves much to be desired with regard to electricity supply. Only 15% of the villages are electrified and a village is considered electrified even if there is only one house with electricity. Often, in many places, there is no electricity supply for weeks together. This is not only the case with villages, but also in block towns and district headquarters. This erratic supply of electricity creates problems for maintenance of the cold chain, so necessary for preserving potency of vaccines. Multi-power operated cold chain equipment, that function on solar power, battery and electricity, become essential under these circumstances. Action: On a pilot basis, Jharkhand government commissioned multi-power operating cold chain equipment in 2005. Ice Lined Refrigerators (ILRs), Deep Freezers were connected with the batteries, which could be recharged with solar power or with electricity, depending on which was available. Thus, even in the absence of electricity battery charge is maintained from an alternative source, in this case, with solar energy. Results: Evaluation of the newly introduced system is underway, but it can be said with certainty the shelf life of vaccines has increased and their wastage reduced to a greater extent.

Cost One time capital cost for setting up the system is very high. Equipment worth INR 6 crore (60 million) was purchased initially for the pilot phase.
Place 131 Primary Health Centres spread across 17 districts.
Time Frame Nearly 18 months, from planning to implementation including procurement.

Reduced vaccine wastage: Increased shelf life of the vaccines has reduced their wastage due to loss of potency. Maintenance: Low maintenance cost and easy to manage. Better immunisation: With increased potency of vaccines quality of immunisation has increased.


Commitment: Cooperation and commitment of government officials is needed for smooth functioning of the system. Policy level: Decision making at policy level to introduce the expensive system is a difficult task. Training of workers: Cold chain handlers needs initial training to handle the new system properly.


Prior approval from competent authority.

Who needs to be consulted

State government.



Since maintenance cost is very low, it is highly sustainable.

Chances of Replication

In states where electricity supply is very poor it is a good way to maintain the cold chain.


Though the initial cost is high, it is easy to maintain and manage; it is highly useful in areas with erratic power supply to deliver quality immunisation services.


Submitted By

Dr. Anuradha Davey, Research Consultant, National Institute of Medical Statistics, May, 2006.

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