×

News publications and other organizations are encouraged to reuse Direct Relief-published content for free under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International), given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

When republishing:

  • Include a byline with the reporter’s name and Direct Relief in the following format: "Author Name, Direct Relief." If attribution in that format is not possible, include the following language at the top of the story: "This story was originally published by Direct Relief."
  • If publishing online, please link to the original URL of the story.
  • Maintain any tagline at the bottom of the story.
  • With Direct Relief's permission, news publications can make changes such as localizing the content for a particular area, using a different headline, or shortening story text. To confirm edits are acceptable, please check with Direct Relief by clicking this link.
  • If new content is added to the original story — for example, a comment from a local official — a note with language to the effect of the following must be included: "Additional reporting by [reporter and organization]."
  • If republished stories are shared on social media, Direct Relief appreciates being tagged in the posts:
    • Twitter (@DirectRelief)
    • Facebook (@DirectRelief)
    • Instagram (@DirectRelief)

Republishing Images:

Unless stated otherwise, images shot by Direct Relief may be republished for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution, given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

  • Maintain correct caption information.
  • Credit the photographer and Direct Relief in the caption. For example: "First and Last Name / Direct Relief."
  • Do not digitally alter images.

Direct Relief often contracts with freelance photographers who usually, but not always, allow their work to be published by Direct Relief’s media partners. Contact Direct Relief for permission to use images in which Direct Relief is not credited in the caption by clicking here.

Other Requirements:

  • Do not state or imply that donations to any third-party organization support Direct Relief's work.
  • Republishers may not sell Direct Relief's content.
  • Direct Relief's work is prohibited from populating web pages designed to improve rankings on search engines or solely to gain revenue from network-based advertisements.
  • Advance permission is required to translate Direct Relief's stories into a language different from the original language of publication. To inquire, contact us here.
  • If Direct Relief requests a change to or removal of republished Direct Relief content from a site or on-air, the republisher must comply.

For any additional questions about republishing Direct Relief content, please email the team here.

Cold Chain

Issues & Solutions

The Covid-19 vaccination effort spotlights the global cold-chain network’s collective shortcomings–a sobering fact extending far beyond Covid-19, as most medicines under development are temperature-sensitive.

19 April 2021 – Muhimbili National Hospital, Paediatric Block, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – Ezekiel Tunduje, a pharmacist, organizing drugs in a cold room at Muhimbili Hospital built through donations from Direct Relief through Tumaini La Maisha.

In Brief

Limited cold-chain distribution capacity creates an obvious, practical barrier to people obtaining access to medications and therapies – even when they are free.


These shortcomings, if unaddressed, will only intensify the gap between haves and have-nots, and the profound advances being made in health will fail to reach people who are poor or in poor areas.


For these reasons, Direct Relief is working to improve cold-chain systems at the national and local levels in countries around the world and expand its cold-chain capacity to deliver increasing volumes of temperature-sensitive medication.

The Humanitarian Supply Chain for Temperature-Sensitive Medications

Increasingly, new medications and vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) come in a form that requires some level of consistent end-to-end cold handling and storage from the point of manufacture to the patient.

On the one hand, this means more potentially lifesaving medications are becoming available. On the other hand, access is distributed unevenly between developed and developing countries — often due to lacking cold chain infrastructure, insufficient capacity to handle such medications.

The challenge loomed long before the Covid-19 pandemic, but the global race to vaccinate against Covid-19 has brought it into stark relief.

Developing nations struggle to compete with developed countries to secure Covid vaccines. Still, even when they get them, they often lack the cold chain infrastructure, power, and systems required to handle them properly.

While 1 billion doses of Covid vaccines are manufactured monthly, wealthy countries edge closer to vaccine targets while the challenge for the developing world is shifting from a supply issue to a vaccine logistics issue.

Boosting Access to Cold-Chain Medication Globally

Covid-19

The organization is helping equip healthcare providers in the US and globally with emergency medical resources including vaccines, antibody therapies, and other critical medicines.

Rare Diseases

Direct Relief provides critical therapies to patients with certain rare diseases in countries where these lifesaving therapies are otherwise unavailable.

Cancer

Direct Relief partners with leading cancer institutions around the world to source and deliver lifesaving treatment drugs.

Diabetes

Direct Relief provides critical medicines and supplies for patients with diabetes to its network of health facilities worldwide.

Direct Relief has significantly expanded its cold chain capacity in recent years, increasing its ability to provide temperature-sensitive medications to healthcare providers globally. The organization distributed $577 million in cold chain medications in its 2021 fiscal year — free of charge.

A cold chain, however, is only as strong as its weakest link. Without the capacity to store and handle temperature-sensitive medications, communities go without essential vaccines and therapies.

For this reason, Direct Relief works to improve cold chain systems at the national and local levels in countries around the world through financial grants, donations of refrigeration equipment, and expertise.