Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi’s dedicated group purchasing organisation for health-care supplies and equipment — Rafed — has so far overseen the storage and supply of a million COVID-19 vaccine doses.
The Rafed Distribution Facility in Abu Dhabi is a dedicated 19,000 square-metre pharmaceutical facility and it announced its million-dose operational milestone on Tuesday. The milestone was reached in just seven months.
According to a statement, the centre houses eight cold chambers that can store up to 120 million vaccine vials, medical equipment and personal protective equipment at temperatures ranging from -80 to 8 degrees Celsius.
“What the Rafed team has been able to achieve over the past seven months is incredible and our facilities continue to play a critical role in enabling the UAE’s immunisation initiatives. We are still a relatively young company and the ability to process over three million vaccine doses each month is proof that Rafed is providing a key link in the nation’s logistics chain and enabling centralised procurement services across the UAE,” said Rashed Al Qubaisi, Rafed chief executive officer.
In addition to essential cold storage facilities for COVID-19 vaccines, the centre also houses radio frequency scanning for dispatch and inventory control systems, as well as advanced building monitoring.
“While our priority has been the rapid supply of COVID-19 vaccines, our aim is to build on the facility’s success in the coming months and expand our ability to reduce operational costs for health-care providers, while also ensuring the effective and timely delivery of essential medical supplies across the region,” Al Qubaisi said.
Hope Consortium role
Rafed is a key player in the Hope Consortium, an Abu Dhabi initiative that sets up the UAE capital as a logistics hub for the storage and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. The Consortium aims to deliver 18 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021, and is led by Abu Dhabi health regulator, the Department of Health (DoH). Apart from Rafed and DoH, it also includes the cargo division of Etihad Airways — Etihad Cargo — Abu Dhabi Ports, container solutions provider SkyCell and digital security provider Maqta Gateway.