Better Access to Vaccines with the New Microneedle Patch

Each year, millions of people in the developing world are killed by vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccines are administered through injection, meaning a trained professional is required. Vaccines also require a sterile environment and constant refrigeration to remain viable. These requirements are difficult and costly to meet in developing countries. However, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing a microneedle patch that can quickly and easily administer vaccines that save lives.

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Using ‘Tower-Power’ to Chill Vaccines

Harvey Rubin and his team at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a project called Energize the Chain, which uses the excess energy from power grids at cellphone towers to run refrigerators that keep vaccines cold in rural areas. Remote communities often lack the energy infrastructure to preserve the cold-chain, upon which so many vaccines depend. Cell towers house a 24-hour supply of energy, the excess of which is currently going to waste.

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Who Knew Fresh Breath Could Save Lives?

A group of scientists at McMaster University have discovered that mouthwash strips may lead to more than just fresh breath. With a grant from Grand Challenges Canada, they are developing an easy to distribute method for administering vaccines thanks to a specific polymer in the strip that preserves the vaccines at room temperature.

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Volunteer Farmer Trainers Transform Lives in East Africa

Agriculture is a major source of employment in developing countries, but farmers in those countries often must contend with the challenge of accessing the education they need to improve their livelihoods. The East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) project aims to address this problem by introducing volunteer farmer trainers (VFTs) in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda.

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An Urban Jungle Yields Fruit in Haiti

In many developing countries, agricultural production is a major source of both employment and sustenance. In a country with poor infrastructure such as Haiti, it is often difficult for urban populations to gain access to the fresh food produced outside of the city. One organization has decided to turn the issue on its head: why not grow the food right in the city instead of transporting it?

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Flying Towards Humanitarian Relief

Flying cars were once the thing of science fiction. Today, they may be set to change the face of aid delivery in remote areas. Two companies, one American and one French, have developed flying cars capable of traveling 200 km per trip with two people and a 300 kg payload. Is this a game-changer, or do the developers have their heads in the clouds?

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Making Vaccines Less Temperature Sensitive

Reports recently released by the WHO, and covered in the laudable journal Vaccine, credit breaking the cold chain for drastically reducing rates of Meningitis A across the Sub-Saharan African Meningitis Belt. MenAfriVac is the first Controlled – Temperature – Chain (CTC) vaccine to be administered in Africa. It was produced by the Meningitis Vaccination Project, which is a joint initiative …

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Dry Vaccine Patch Could Revolutionize Delivery

Professor Mark Kendall of Queensland University in Australia has developed a new format for producing and delivering vaccines using nano-technology. He and his team have created a patch that is applied topically, much like a stamp. It does not require medical supervision, is very low cost (estimated at $1 per patch), and most importantly does not require refrigeration. Self-administering provides …

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