The vital importance of temperature monitoring in a time of COVID-19

As an essential service supplier to the food, pharmaceutical and medical industries, TMSA is exempt from the current South African lockdown in terms of essential business activities. We are grateful to our courier service suppliers DSV & DHL, who, with the necessary additional health and safety precautions, will continue to deliver our products to those who need them in the medical, pharmaceutical and food industries. This is, of course, a reflection of the vital role our products play in storage, distribution, and monitoring of sensitive items. Vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and food products all require specific conditions to be serviceable, and our devices ensure that this is always the case.

With the world trying to adjust to a temporary new normal, we have been watching with interest the discussions around vaccine and treatment development. Our expertise means we understand the potential obstacles which distribution of pharmaceuticals against this pandemic will face. We have been buoyed, however, by the ongoing sense of collaboration and innovation from the scientific community at this time.

Friday 20th March saw the launch of an unprecedented effort from the World Health Organization; a global trial called SOLIDARITY. The aim is simple, to test whether drugs approved for other situations can be repurposed to treat the 15% of COVID-19 patients suffering from severe disease. If found to be effective, using existing drugs over developing new compounds would expedite the process of treating patients worldwide. They are currently testing a combination approved for use against HIV, a malaria treatment dating from WWII, and a new antiviral which came to light in the fight against Ebola (though it was sadly ineffective in that case, there is hope it could now be applicable).

This worldwide joint effort from researchers, medics, and patients around the globe, is unheard of in our lifetime. It’s a new approach for a pandemic, unlike anything the world has seen in living memory. Although treatments, vaccines, and sufficient testing are yet to be available (or even discovered), it is highly likely that they will require temperature monitoring for safe transport and storage when they exist.

In the meantime, TMSA-distributed Timestrips are being used to monitor the cold chain of the flu vaccine being distributed around South Africa so we are pleased to see one of our solutions enabling the policy to vaccinate against flu during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Although each of us must find different ways to work, socialise and even exercise at this time, temperature monitoring solutions will continue to ensure that pharmaceuticals are effective at the point of use, fresh and frozen food are safe for consumption, and medical supplies are appropriately protected. Now is the time to band together, like the WHO SOLIDARITY mission, and protect the health of ourselves and each other. TMSA is proud to play our part in this global movement.