Riders for Health’s usual focus is solely on transport for healthcare. But a new initiative in response to the inadequate cold-chain storage facilities in Nigeria for Covid-19 vaccines, led to us building a cold storage warehouse to support the government’s response to the crisis.
Correct storage of the vaccine ensures its efficacy and the cold chain must be maintained during storage and transportation. Across sub-Saharan Africa the lack of storage infrastructure is the most basic challenge to vaccine distribution.
When facilities were required for the collation and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, it was Riders for Health who stepped in to build the facilities required to ensure the vaccine rollout could continue successfully. Given the urgent need of cold storage for Covid-19 vaccines Riders built a warehouse to very clear specifications to meet the need.
The total volume of the warehouse is about 400 m3 but with effective space of about 200m3. There are two sections within the warehouse, each of about 3 x 6 x 12 meters in size. One of those sections is divided into two compartments, one for storage up to – 80 oC and the other for -10 to -30 oC storage. In terms of the capacity, it is calculated that the warehouse can accommodate between 19 to 20 million doses of vaccines. The second section, measuring about 200 m3, is to be used as a fridge and to accommodate all the products that are to be stored between 2 to 8 oC.
The cold chain warehouse is expected to serve about 20 million adult population that require our services within the North-Central region of the country and about 4 million children will as well benefit from the vaccine storage and distribution services. The service can also be scaled to the neighbouring states bordering the North-Central region. Riders for Health Nigeria has cold-chain transportation trucks, off-road vehicles and motorcycles which will carry out the onward distribution of the vaccines to where they are needed.
Riders’ other activities in Nigeria include sample transportation and health supplies logistics.