Gricd, a cold chain technology startup has partnered with Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to deliver 4.2 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine across Nigeria.
Through the internet of things, Gricd makes last mile delivery of temperature-sensitive products. Donated by the USAID to the Nigerian government through the COVAX initiative, the Moderna vaccines requires storage conditions between -15 degrees and -25 degrees Celsius.
With 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 data logger has an in-built 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.
Oghenetega Iortim, CEO and co-founder of Gricd, said, "with 36 states and a landmass of more than 900,000 square kilometers to cover, the NPHDCA 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", Iortim said.
Annually, over 50 percent of vaccines waste globally because of temperature control, logistics and shipment-related issues. In Africa where around 60 percent of the population live in rural areas with limited infrastructure, this percentage will be higher, according to the World Health Organisation. The lack of reliable cold storage and inefficient cold chain management results in high waste rates and poor vaccination coverage.
Gricd was part of the first cohort of FbStart Accelerator, held in partnership with CcHUB. Recently, they emerged as the winner of Africa Fintech Foundry’s (AFF) startup pitch competition in which they were given $10,000 in funding.
Launched in 2018, Gricd has worked with various organisations to realize more than $193 million in savings and successfully monitored more than 12 million temperature-sensitive items.