LONDON — Camels laden with solar-powered refrigerators will be used to take vaccines to remote areas of Chad in a UNICEF program to inoculate children against seven killer diseases, U.N. officials said Tuesday.
The camel train will be in operation by the end of the year, said Ulf Kristoffersson, Chad representative of the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF). Camels have never been used in such an operation, but refrigerators powered by the sun's energy have been used in Uganda to keep vaccines cold, he said.
The camels will form a vital link in the "cold chain," keeping vaccines cold from the time they leave the West to the time they reach the isolated inoculation centers.
In Chad, one in five infants do not reach the age of 1. UNICEF hopes to inoculate at least 75% of Chad's children in the next five years, saving 15,000 lives a year.