Borno State Government, Japan Embassy and UNICEF commission vaccine cold store as Immunization Plus Days take place in 12 Northern States
Japan, one of the major donors to UNICEF for polio eradication and Immunization in Nigeria.
Maiduguri, 26 November 2007 - As Borno State is conducting the sixth and last round of Immunization Plus Days in the year- together with 11 other high risk States-, a new vaccine cold room was commissioned today in Maiduguri at the epidemiological Unit of Maidokori ward by the Governor of Borno State, Senator (Dr.) Ali Modu Sheriff, Borno State Commissioner for Health, Mr. Ayuba Izah, Japan Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Mr. Seisuke Narumiya, and the UNICEF Assistant Representative, Mohammad Jalloh. Also present was the Zonal Coordinator of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, North-East zone, Dr. Mohammed Lawal Hadejia.
The cold room which was commissioned is part of the cold chain equipment funded by the Government of Japan and procured through UNICEF for storage of vaccines at State and Local Government level. The total cost for this cold room is N3.5 million. Its size is 40 m3, therefore provides capacity to store enough vaccines to fully immunize 480,000 children each year. In Borno, there are 823,000 children under five eligible for polio and other vaccine.
"This cold store is a precious assistance as we are working hard to immunize all children in the State and protect them against most preventable diseases’, said Borno State Commissioner for Health, Mr. Ayuba Izah. ‘This year we still had 22 children affected by the polio disease and we need to bring this figure to zero. I trust that this equipment will help us to improve the quality of our immunization activities and that it will also contribute to enhancing routine immunization".
A total of four such cold rooms were procured with Japanese funds for Nigeria (for the States of Lagos, Kano, Rivers and Borno). In addition, UNICEF provided to the 36 States of the Federation, 172 vaccine fridges, 40 freezers, 237 vaccine cold boxes for transporting vaccines, 1,300 geothermal vaccine carriers, 155 ice-lined refrigerators for ice-packs, 5,000 ice packs –all of them with funding from Japan. These equipments maintain vaccines within recommended temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. This is of paramount importance to keep vaccine quality. Borno State received 15 Icel-ined refrigerators, 8 freezers, 3 solar fridges and 10 motorcycles. UNICEF also supported the training of all LGA Immunization and Cold Chain Officers on vaccine management.
"The Japanese Government is glad to contribute to saving the lives of Nigerian children through this cooperation with UNICEF, said Mr. Seisuke Narumiya, Japan Embassy Chargé d’Affaires at the ceremony. ‘Our assistance is part of my Government’s efforts in reaching the Millennium Development Goals set for 2015."
The Government of Japan has been one of the major donors of UNICEF polio eradication and immunization programme in Nigeria with a total donation of N4.56 billion since 2000. Last June, Japan doubled their annual donation with a contribution amounting to N1.16 billion. Japan’s funding is used mostly for the procurement of polio vaccines, cold chain equipment, Long Lasting Insecticide Nets and child survival supplies that can be used during Immunization Plus Days.
‘One of the key areas where UNICEF provides assistance to the Government of Nigeria for immunization program is vaccine security and cold chain improvement, said UNICEF Assistant Country Representative, Mohammad Jalloh. Thanks to Japan’s funding, significant investments have been made to provide adequate cold chain equipment to health facilities throughout the country. This has impacted positively on the health of children.’
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