TechNet-21 - Forum

This forum provides a place for members to ask questions, share experiences, coordinate activities, and discuss recent developments in immunization.
  1. Pat Lennon
  2. Cold chain equipment
  3. Friday, 01 April 2016

In cooperation with the Uganda Ministry of Health, PATH recently conducted a pilot study to document equipment failures in the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization cold chain.

Due to our use of purposeful sampling to locate a subset of failed cold chain equipment in Uganda, conclusions about predicted failures cannot be drawn from our study report. However, after learning of the failures, one manufacturer (B. Medical) has agreed to replace the equipment assessed.

The full report can be accessed here:

Information from this report has also been added tothe Dulas VC65F revew here:

Soren Spanner Accepted Answer

Dear Alejo Bejemino,

Thank you for your detailed comments; I think any cold chain technician with experience in absorption refrigerators are aware of what you are telling us.

Definitely, the CC technicians in Uganda, having about 20 years of experience.  And myself, having more than 30 years.

Your causes “• Blocked or clogged nozzle • Dirty or deformed burner • Defective thermocouple • Defective safety pilot and thermostat assembly” are well known and were found in equipment that was not part of the study, because of age. The units mentioned in the report do have faulty cooling units.The study was designed to target equipment with an age of eight years or less.



  1. more than a month ago
  2. Cold chain equipment
  3. # 1
Alejo Bejemino Accepted Answer
Thank you for sharing this pilot study on cold chain equipment failures. I would like to share my experience on how faulty absorption type vaccine refrigerators and freezers were restored to its normal cooling performance. Based on my experience of conducting hands-on-training in many countries on repair and maintenance of absorption type vaccine refrigerators namely: RCW 50 EG, RCW 42 EG, FCW 20 EG and SIBIR GE we have not encountered a cooling-unit problem on absorption type vaccine refrigerators and freezers. An absorption vaccine refrigerator is a combination of 3 major components namely: the refrigeration system which is the cooling-unit, the power source system which is the lpg circuit, and the cabinet system which is the enclosure. All of the 3 major system components can be separated from each other and can also be assembled together. Please refer to photos in the attachment. The cause of the non-cooling absorption units that were checked and diagnosed was mainly in the power source system either by any or combination of the following: • Blocked or clogged nozzle • Dirty or deformed burner • Defective thermocouple • Defective safety pilot and thermostat assembly During the training, the participants were able to diagnose, service and restore the cooling performance of the non-cooling absorption units that were brought to the training venue. After the training, the trainees had successfully serviced other non-cooling absorption units in their respective area using the set of tools provided to them. Based on experience, local staff can be trained to maintain and service their non-cooling absorption units. This is one viable, cost-effective and sustainable option to sustain EPI activities considering budget limitations and SDD replacement still in progress. Hope this helps. Alejo Bejemino Cold Chain Equipment and Vaccine Management Consultant
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Cold chain equipment
  3. # 2

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