From 9-12 July 2012, an international workshop on cold chain operations was held in Managua, Nicaragua. The main objective of the workshop was to train EPI managers and cold chain managers on cold chain operations. Other workshop objectives included providing knowledge on the use of new tools and technologies, presenting guidelines for effective management of cold chain operations and to draw on regional experiences to homologize the text in the cold chain module that PAHO is updating. The purpose of PAHO’s Cold Chain Module is to help countries plan cold chain and supply chain operations for five to ten years from now, for both the introduction of new vaccines and supporting a growing population. The new Unit Five in the Cold Chain Module emphasizes management practices.
A total of 30 participants from Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama were in attendance, as well as 20 participants from the host coun-try. Five staff members from the PAHO, the EPI Manager from Honduras and the Cold Chain manager from Brazil served as facilitators. Each country delivered a presentation on the status of their cold chain and the challenges they were facing. Facilitators delivered presentations covering the main topics addressed in each of the five units of the PAHO cold chain module. Afterwards, participants were organized into five work groups. Each group reviewed each Module Unit and discussed the issues and provided suggestions for homologizing each one, including recommendations for improving the information. In addition, a question and answer panel session was organized after the review of each Module Unit. The workshop participants highlighted the im-portance of supply chain operations for improving the management of vaccine storage and distribution. The high technical level and quality of presentations facilitated an integrated approach between cold chain and supply chain operations.
The third edition of the PAHO Cold Chain Module is expected to be published later this year.