Nigeria: Government of Japan partners UNICEF to boost immunization of children and pregnant women against killer diseases
LAGOS, Nigeria, 17 February 2011 - The Lagos State Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency today commissioned five vaccine cold stores as part of the national cold chain rehabilitation plan financed by the Japanese Government and executed by UNICEF for storage of vaccines at State and Local Government levels.
The cold stores located in both the Lagos State Ministry of Health Ikeja and the National Primary Health Care Delivery Agency South West Zonal Cold Store Oshodi costs N34.5 Million, is 40 cubic meters per unit with a capacity to store vaccines for the immunization of 3 million children under the age of one as well as 1.65 million pregnant women in the entire south west states of Lagos, Ekiti, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo and Ondo.
"Our capacity to store and effectively distribute vaccines to the nooks and crannies of the country has been greatly enhanced by this gesture" said Dr. Oladimeji Olayinka representing Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, Executive Director/CEO National Primary Health Care development Agency.
"This will in turn increase and improve access to vaccines by more vulnerable groups leading to the overall goal of attaining massive reduction in the number of unnecessary deaths from vaccine preventable diseases" he further explained.
The Government of Japan has been one of the major donors through UNICEF of Nigeria’s polio eradication and immunization programme since 2000.
Last December, Japan donated N1.5 billion for the procurement of polio vaccines, cold chain equipment, Long Lasting Insecticide Nets and child survival supplies that will be used during Child Health weeks.
"We must not forget that the lofty goal of attaining the MDG’s is yet to be achieved despite the progress made in certain areas" said, H.E. Mr Toshitsugu Uesawa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria.
"The people of Japan is always grateful to partner with the Nigerian people to overcome most of these challenges the health sector encounters in Nigeria" One of the key areas where UNICEF provides assistance to the Government of Nigeria for immunization program is vaccine security and cold chain improvement.
UNICEF Country Representative, Dr. Suomi Sakai, thanked the government and people of Japan for their "significant investments towards providing adequate cold chain equipment to health facilities throughout the country. This has impacted positively on routine immunization results in Nigeria."
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