United Kingdom

Uganda Network

Immunisation and the Cold Chain



To be effective vaccines need to be kept cool, that is between 0 - 8C. The cost of each vaccine is not expensive - 3.50, but the need to transport the vaccines in refrigerated containers increases the cost. In this country fridges are common and certainly all doctor's surgeries and health centres will have cold storage facilities.

Vaccines are manufactured abroad and brought to Uganda by plane. They are stored initially in cold stores at Entebbe. Uganda is about as large as the United Kingdom but the roads and transport facilities are not nearly as sophisticated.

They have to travel many miles by road, often on dirt roads rather than tarmac and then into a refrigerator kept cool by an intermittent electricity supply.

The final leg of the journey may even be by bicycle.


If you are lucky enough to have a fridge where you meet you could undertake these activities or ask the Cub Scouts to do them at home.
  1. Ask the Cub Scouts to sit in a circle. Pass an ice cube around the circle from hand to hand. How many hands does the ice cube pass through before it melts?
  2. Put an ice cube in a jam jar insulated with some paper (a roll of paper fitted into the jar). The paper must have a top and bottom. How long does it take to melt?
  3. Give each Six an ice cube and ask them to find the coolest place in the building that is where the ice cube lasts the longest.

Compare the results of the last two activities. Using the outline of Uganda, a small town, a village and a remote farm.

Draw pictures of an aeroplane, large building with a freezer store, a fridge, insulated boxes and a vacuum flask. Stick the pictures on of the areas where the vaccines would be transferred to the best cold transport available.

from the Cold Chain Challenge, GGA 1988


Contact the Uganda Network Copyright © The UK Uganda Network - 2002
Last modified 3 January 2004


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