- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Dulas can provide final piece in plan to vaccinate over a quarter of a billion children
Assembly Member Joyce Watson has been to see a mid Wales business that is helping deliver life-saving medical supplies to some of the world’s poorest countries.
For nearly 30 years, Machynlleth-based Dulas, which employs over 100 people at Dyfi Eco Park, has been saving lives in some of the most remote areas of the developing world with solar-powered fridges, which help crucial vaccinations reach people living where there is no electricity.
The Mid and West Wales AM was invited to inspect the specialist units and discuss the opportunities for the company following recent global vaccination negotiations at the GAVI Alliance “Saving Children’s Lives” conference in London.
In June, wealthy nations, led by Britain, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged £2.6bn to a fund to pay for vaccinations to prevent children in poor countries dying from common conditions. The UK is contributing £814m, which will help pay for vaccinations for more than 80 million children and help save an estimated 1.4 million lives from common conditions such as pneumonia and diarrhoea.
Dulas solar vaccination refrigerators are already being used in GAVI-financed vaccination programmes throughout the world and company bosses told Mrs Watson that the recent announcement could have major implications for the company. Cath Peasley, Head of Solar International at Dulas said:
“The GAVI Alliance is to be applauded for its commitment to the ongoing battle to immunise millions of at-risk children in the developing world. Vaccines often need to reach those in hard-to-reach places and Dulas systems are delivering life-saving solutions to people in remote locations across the world as part of our everyday operations. It must also be remembered that a clean, reliable water supply will prevent many of those diseases being vaccinated against. Again it is solar technology that can drive water pumps in remote areas than can save lives and vastly improve quality of life for the poorest of the poor.
“We’ve got huge experience in successful projects of this nature and are committed to the Millennium Development Goals as part of UN Global Compact. We pride ourselves as a great British business who works with an innovative product in extraneous circumstances – we would love to help GAVI achieve its ambitious aims by working together to save more lives and would welcome the opportunity to help them meet their urgent need.”
Joyce Watson added:
“Dulas is a real Welsh success story. We can be very proud that a Wales-based company – and Welsh workers – are at the heart of efforts to save millions of lives in some of the poorest parts of the world.
“GAVI has already vaccinated 288 million children in 19 countries and a recent Save the Children report concluded that immunising children has been one of the greatest health success stories of the last century – hopefully, Dulas will continue to support GAVI and humanitarian organisations in the fight against preventable diseases.”
As well as storing vaccines and drugs, Dulas solar refrigerators and freezers are used for blood banking and during the supply of cold chain equipment. Projects in isolated parts of Nigeria, Peru, India and Pakistan are seeing solar panelled fridges being packaged and transported by helicopter, boat and even yaks, in order to access those in need of immunisation.
Dulas is one of the UK’s oldest renewable firms and has expertise in solar, wind, biomass heating and hydro. Dulas operates across all areas of the supply chain from feasibility and resource assessment right through to installation, operation and maintenance.