Belize Response Initiative for Cold-Chain (BRICC)
Effective health service delivery around the globe depends on a network of interconnected systems at local, national, and multi-national levels. The management and maintenance of these systems can present challenges that are often amplified in low- and middle-income countries. It is essential that medical supply chains maintain (i) the integrity of biological samples required for diagnostic testing, (ii) the quality, safety, and efficacy of perishable drugs, and (iii) the potency of vaccines. In order to achieve these results, medical supply chains must ensure that product-specific temperature requirements are met and sustained throughout the health network. This system of ensuring verifiable, uninterrupted temperature control is known as cold-chain. Incomplete or unreliable cold-chains risk the distribution of ineffective vaccines and pharmaceuticals and threaten the accuracy of biological sample testing, putting millions of lives at risk around the globe. For a host of reasons including inadequate infrastructure and insufficient resources, reliable cold-chain systems are often lacking in low- and middle-income countries whose populations are disproportionately impacted by a wide range of diseases and are, therefore, most in need of these life-saving systems. This collaborative initiative will lay the foundation for efficient and effective cold-chain transportation of biological samples in Belize.
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