Pietermaritzburg-based remote temperature monitoring specialist, Ikhaya Automation Systems (Ikhaya), is the first black-owned company in Africa to receive accreditation from the World Health Organization (WHO). The recognition comes for its latest product, the VM1000 (vaccine monitor temperature monitoring device).
“The Ikhaya VM1000 device recently qualified under the WHO Performance, Quality, and Safety (PQS) E006/061,” says Praba Moonsamy, Ikhaya’s managing director. “This achievement is testimony to the quality and efficacy of our temperature monitoring device. It is also an important step for us to provide UN agencies, non-profit organisations and various global vaccine providers across the globe the assurance of device stability and reliability in carrying out their various immunisation programs.”
Eckart Zollner, sales and marketing executive at Ikhaya, says: “This is the global standard we need in order to be an international player and supplier. We are the only company with this accreditation that covers the full range of necessary temperature points to fully service the pharmaceutical industry. We provide the products and technology to monitor multiple temperature points remotely using a web-based solution to show a continuous, compliant cold chain.”
Critical in Covid-19 vaccine roll-out
Several vaccines are due to roll-out soon, with some requiring ultra-low temperatures to keep the vaccine safe for use. Such temperatures may exceed -80°C and other vaccines in the pipeline may need to be kept at differing temperatures such as -20°C or even from 2 to 8°C.
Zollner says: “The temperature of every vaccine (and indeed all temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals) must be kept as advised by the manufacturers during transport and storage to preserve the vaccine’s effectiveness and safety once administered.
“Our audible real time alerts, that are also distributed via SMS and email, provide our customers with the ability to become proactive when it comes to the management of the environmental conditions anywhere along the cold chain from manufacture to distribution. The required interventions on the cooling plant can now be affected before any consequential loss of product occurs.”
System-generated reports will serve as proof for compliance and legal purposes. Additionally, the Ikhaya temperature monitoring system offers interactive, linear web graphs in real-time and high-resolution detail, delivering instant alerts of any temperature deviations via SMS or email.
Local production, global accreditation
Moonsamy says: “In addition to the global certification from the World Health Organisation (WHO), our company is also ISO 9001:2015 accredited. While our products are benchmarked regularly against local and global competitors, we are a wholly South African developer and manufacturer of real-time temperature and humidity monitoring solutions that are designed to last.
“Many of our products achieve a lifespan of more than 10 years in the field, backed by service guarantee and stringent service level agreements. Our dynamic, experienced team brings innovative ideas and superior support service while our distributors form an international footprint of sales and installations, ready to service the temperature-sensitive industries on a worldwide scale.”
Established in 2008, Ikhaya provides temperature monitoring solutions to the following sectors: pharmaceuticals, healthcare, cold rooms, fridges, freezers, server rooms, -80°C ultra-cold freezers, and refrigerated transport.