Gricd, a cold chain technology company that uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to enable last-mile delivery of temperature-sensitive products, has teamed up with Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to deliver 4.2 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to all 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory.
This batch of the Moderna vaccines was donated by USAID to the Nigerian government through the COVAX initiative and required storage conditions between -15 degrees and -25 degrees Celsius. Using Gricd’s MOTE, a data logger that transmits information about location, humidity and temperature in real-time, the NPHCDA was able to track the vaccines’ storage conditions and other relevant information from National Strategic Cold Store in Abuja to their final destinations to prevent wastage and ensure their potency.
The MOTE comes with a built-in GSM antenna to track its location and can last up to 30 days on a single charge. It can be monitored and controlled from anywhere in the world with a mobile phone. Alerts can also be sent via SMS, email or push notification to relevant parties to inform them and advise on the best next step if the tracked product deviates from their intended route or exceeds the preset temperature range.
NPHCDA also had access to Gricd’s enterprise monitoring dashboard which enabled it to track all the devices in one place, ensuring the vaccines arrived where they were intended and as they were intended. All vaccines were safely delivered and no cases of ineffectiveness have been recorded.
Commenting on the partnership, Oghenetega Iortim, CEO and co-founder of Gricd, said, “With 36 states and a landmass of more than 900,000 square kilometres to cover, the NPHCDA had its work cut out to ensure that the vaccines got to each state in the best condition. There is still a lot of work to be done to protect Nigeria from COVID-19 but we are glad to have been able to support the governments’ efforts to ensure that more Nigerians have access to critical vaccines. Many African countries have peculiar challenges that often limit access to vaccines and other life-saving medications, and we need to continue to innovate around these challenges to secure lives and livelihoods.”
The lack of reliable cold storage and inefficient cold chain management results in high waste rates and poor vaccination coverage. The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 50 per cent of vaccines are wasted globally every year because of temperature control, logistics and shipment-related issues. This percentage could be higher in Africa where around 60 per cent of the population live in rural areas with limited infrastructure.
Gricd offers a range of IoT-enabled solutions that deliver reliable and consistent temperature monitoring and data logging, especially during storage, transit and distribution of temperature-sensitive products such as vaccines, insulin and food. By enabling automated, real time monitoring, Gricd makes it easier to guarantee the safety and security of products and assets.
The startup already works with some of the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers and food companies in Nigeria and across Africa to monitor the quality of food and pharmaceuticals, as well as provide actionable data to reduce avoidable losses. So far, Gricd has worked with various organisations to realise more than $193 million in savings and successfully monitored more than 12 million temperature-sensitive items.