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From Sde Boker, Israel:

A Bedouin (nomad) boy in an area not connected to a main electric power supply lines is looking for a device (e. g., small or tiny refrigerator) to store his insulin. The area is very warm (about 45 degrees C in summer). He and his family stay in non-permanent "housing". Can you please recommend or direct us to a source of supply of such small cooling devices working on rechargeable batteries, gas driven or solar source etc. ?


You will find a number of solar refrigerators listed at web sites like Google by entering "solar+powered+refrigerator" though they all look a bit big for what you want. A simple device that might work up to about 100F in the cooler months would a porous earthenware container filled with water into which you could put the insulin in a plastic bag (in India, it's called a chatti pot).


Additional comments from Dr. Larry Deeb:

Clay water pots have been used in other parts of the world and keep the insulin at cool room temperature, 25C. The water evaporates through the pot and cools by natural means. The insulin vial is actually in the water.


Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:

The Indians also live in a very warm climate and have successfully used clay pots as a reliable means of keeping insulin cool. These can be buried in the sand and seem to maintain ambient temperature around insulin vials nicely. Any small clay pot would work. There was an article (maybe a letter) about this in Diabetes Care several years ago that you could use as a reference.


Additional comments from Lois Schmidt Finney, diabetes dietitian:

If you use the jar method and the insulin sits in the water, the label may well come off. Keep that in mind since we had a family that used 2 kinds of insulin and did not realize that they were pretty indistinguishable when wet and without labels. You will need some kind of a marker or put one in a baggy to keep them separate.


Original posting 23 Jul 2000
Additional comments added 25 Sep 2000
Posted to Daily Care


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