Strengthening cold chain capacity and storage for COVID-19 vaccines


July 2022 – January 2024


Cold chain maintenance is a critical challenge for the Ministry of Health in Malawi, impacting the effective delivery of vaccines to the last mile. Special efforts have been made to improve cooling systems and support proper vaccine storage, including nationwide targeted repair and maintenance drives for cold chain equipment. This initiative is pivotal for routine immunization and supports emergency COVID-19 and polio vaccination campaigns.

With funding from USAID and The Coca-Cola Foundation, Project Last Mile supported Malawi’s Ministry of Health’s Expanded Program on Immunization and Physical Assets Management to tackle cold chain challenges within the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. The focus was on enhancing infrastructure and strengthening the capacity of Ministry of Health staff and workers. Leveraging the expertise of The Coca-Cola System in maintaining a robust cold chain, Project Last Mile conducted a comprehensive national assessment. This was followed by repairing and maintaining the cold chain equipment, along with capacity-building efforts focused on maintenance and preventative measures.


  • Conducted national assessment at 575 government facilities.
  • Collaborated with Coca-Cola Beverages Africa to train 100 Ministry of Health technicians on cold chain handling, vaccine management, and cold chain equipment repair.
  • Provided preventative maintenance on 836 cold chain equipment units and curative maintenance on 91 units.
  • Trainees showed a sustained increase in cold chain equipment knowledge and repair and maintenance capability.
  • Trained 576 health facility workers and health surveillance assistants on basic cold chain equipment maintenance.
  • Increased fully functioning CCE in health facilities by 7%.
  • Enhanced vaccine storage capacity by 9%.

“Now, I can spend time with my family at night or during the weekend without having the stress of going back to the facility to check refrigerators.”
– Wyson Chilonga, Health Surveillance Assistant at Mitundu Community Hospital

This information originally appeared in the 2023 annual report.