Mercedes-Benz do Brasil has transformed two buses into mobile vaccination units. The two vehicles, an OF 1519 urban bus and an 0 500 R touring coach, were donated to the Brazilian Red Cross (Cruz Vermelha Brasileira) and are being used to support the Ministry of Health's National Immunization Plan in Brazil. The buses will travel through several states within the country to reach populations which are difficult to access, as well as those living in a socially vulnerable situation. Two routes - one departing from São Paulo to São Luis, and the other going to Rio Branco - will start operating immediately. Around 4,000 people are expected to benefit from the mobile vaccination units each month. In addition to the buses, an eight-seater Mercedes-Benz van will also be used to transport health agents during the course of this project.
Transformation into mobile vaccination units with innovative devices
In both the OF 1519 and the O 500 R buses, all of the seats in the passengers compartment were removed, thereby leaving space for vaccination cabins and various items of medical equipment. The touring coach was equipped with five vaccination cabins, three refrigerators for vaccine storage and three sink cabinets, while the urban bus was fitted with three vaccination cabins, two refrigerators and two sink cabinets. Both vehicles are equipped with hospital curtains, overhead cupboards and a drawer cabinet. In addition to this, both buses also have a monitoring room with two laptops and two screens, a folding table, paper towel dispensers, water filter, air conditioning system and a toilet.
Besides this, an innovative solar power system was installed, ensuring an ample supply for the vaccine' refrigerators. Inside the vehicle, ultraviolet lighting is used as the technology contributes to better hygiene.
Participation of important partners enabled the project
The project is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through DEG, a subsidiary of the KfW Bankengruppe, which financed the transformation of the buses into mobile vaccination units. Through the support provided by São Paulo's Brazil-Germany Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Câmara de Comércio e Indústria Brasil-Alemanha), the German government's participation in the project was implemented through develoPPP.de, a BMZ program that provides resources to emerging and developing countries, whereby the focus is on social, environmental and economic aspects.
The transformation of the buses into vaccination units was carried out by Eco X, a company specialized in vehicle adaptation and transformation. Elber Medical provided the vaccine conservation chambers. Meanwhile the solar panels supplying the energy to the vaccine refrigerators were provided by Sunew.