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Lagos 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.

Lagos, 19 September 2007 - Immunization programme in Lagos State is to benefit from the new vaccine cold room commissioned today in Lagos State Old Secretariat, Ikeja, by the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr 'Jide Idris, Japan Embassy Minister Counsellor, Mr. Seisuke Narumiya, representing H.E. Mr. Akio Tanaka, Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria and the UNICEF Assistant Country Representative, Mr. Karim Akadiri. Also present was the Assistant Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, South-West Zone, Dr (Mrs) Modupeola Oyesiji.

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 Lagos State, there are 1.8 million children under five eligible for polio vaccine and other antigens.

“Lagos State Government is committed to achieve 80% routine immunization coverage rate and to improve the health of all young children’, said Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr ‘Jide Idris. ‘This cold store will greatly help us in achieving this goal’.

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.

‘‘The Japanese Government is glad to contribute to save the life 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.

‘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, Karim Akadiri. 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 routine immunization results.’

For media enquiries, please contact:

  • Geoffrey Njoku UNICEF Communication Officer, UNICEF Nigeria, Tel: 0803 52 50 288, e-mail: gnjoku@unicef.org
  • Adesoji Tayo, UNICEF Communication Officer, Lagos, 08035350998, e-mail: atayo@unicef.org

 

 
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