Cold chain technologies

Keeping temperature-sensitive health products properly cooled in extreme climates, over barely accessible roads, and in places with unreliable access to electricity is a constant challenge for developing-country health systems. Over the next decade, as new vaccines and essential medicines become available, it is critical that capacities are bolstered and appropriate tools are advanced to protect these products from damage, ensuring coverage and impact. Innovative cold chain technologies can help improve the reliability of vaccine distribution, reduce unnecessary vaccine wastage, enable new handling policies, and help strengthen the overall immunization system.

PATH is working to advance innovative technologies that help to more effectively store, monitor, and transport vaccines as well as other health care products at appropriate temperatures, especially in low-resource settings. Visit PATH’s website to learn more about its work on cold chain technologies.

View resources on cold chain technologies

Key resources

Using Solar-Powered Refrigeration for Vaccine Storage Where Other Sources of Reliable Electricity are Inadequate or Costly (2013)
An article that discusses critical factors for successful introduction of solar units into immunization programs.

Vaccine Management and Logistics
A section of the World Health Organization website that focuses on vaccine management issues including the cold chain.

Featured PATH resources

Solar Direct Drive: A Better Choice for Last-Mile Cooling (2013)
A handout that provides information about using solar direct-drive refrigerators for vaccine storage.

Making Sense of Temperature Monitoring Devices (2013)
A banner that displays devices prequalified by the World Health Organization that prevent temperature fluctuations which can negatively impact vaccine potency and safety.

Page last updated: April 2014.