Kano State Ministry of Health, Japan Embassy and UNICEF commission vaccine cold store
Japan, one of the major donors to UNICEF for polio eradication and Immunization in Nigeria.
Kano, Thursday 04 October 2007 - Children’s immunization in Kano State is to benefit from the new vaccine cold room commissioned today in Kano at Muhammadu Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital by the Acting Governor of Kano State, Engr. Abdullahi Tijjani Mohammed Gwarzo, Kano State Commissioner for Health, Malama Aisha Isyaku Kiru, Japan Embassy Minister Counsellor, Mr. Seisuke Narumiya, representing H.E. Mr. Akio Tanaka, Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria and the UNICEF Deputy Representative, Abdulai Tinorgah. Also present was the Zonal Coordinator of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, North-West zone, Dr. M.Z. Mahmud.
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 Kano State, there are 1.94 million children under five eligible for polio vaccine.
“This cold store is procured at an appropriate time as Kano State has made tremendous progress in controlling polio transmission since last year’, said Kano State Commissioner for Health, Malama Aisha Isyaku Kiru. ‘This year only 50 children were confirmed to have the polio virus compared to 357 children last year. This represents more than 80% reduction. Thanks to the Immunization Plus Days, our children have also been vaccinated in mass against most preventable diseases. Our hope is that this equipment will help us to sustain the results achieved so far and further improve 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 funded by Japan. These equipments maintain vaccines within recommended temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. This is of paramount importance to keep to vaccine quality. Kano State received 15 Ice-lined refrigerators while UNICEF also supported the training of all LGA Immunization and Cold Chain Officers on vaccine management.
‘‘The Japanese Government is glad to contribute to save the lives of Nigerian children through this cooperation with UNICEF, said Mr. Seisuke Narumiya, Japan Embassy Minister Counsellor, representing H.E. Mr. Akio Tanaka, Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria 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.
‘We are pleased to see how the commitment of Kano State Government has made a difference in polio immunization this year, said UNICEF Deputy Representative, Abdulai Tinorgah. ‘Thanks to Japan’s funding, significant investments have been made to provide adequate cold chain equipment and we believe that this will greatly contribute to improve the quality of immunization and more importantly, to improve the health of all children throughout the State.’
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