Media Notice: COVAX-donated ultra-cold storage expands Cambodia’s capacity to safely deliver vaccines

01 November 2021
© UNICEF Cambodia/2021/Bunsak But
UNICEF Cambodia/2021/Bunsak But

Phnom Penh, 1 November Today, nearly $60,000 worth of ultra-cold chain (UCC) equipment was received by Cambodia’s Ministry of Health (MoH). This equipment was funded by the COVAX facility and its Accelerated Supplies Financing Facility, with UNICEF providing technical support to Governments and coordinating the procurement and logistics to ensure its safe arrival.  COVAX Facility is a global alliance led by GAVI, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to ensure equitable access to vaccines across the developing world.

The equipment includes nine ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers, nine voltage stabilizers and all spare parts required to maintain the ULT freezers for the long-term. Together these freezers can hold 2.4 million vaccine doses. Ultra-cold chain freezers are essential for vaccines that must be stored at minus 70C to minus 80C degrees Celsius, such as Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines.

The arrival of these ULTs is part of the Government's decision to establish UCC capacities in the country’s public health services for the first time. Establishing UCC enables Cambodia to further diversify its COVID-19 vaccine portfolio to include mRNA vaccines.  ULTs could also be used in the future to support laboratory and research activities, and the possibility of expanding the capabilities of blood banks. Having UCC in place holds promise well beyond the pandemic to make routine vaccination more accessible for all Cambodians.

The delivery of these nine ULT freezers to Cambodia fits into UNICEF’s global target of delivering 350 ULT freezers to more than 45 countries on behalf of COVAX. In Cambodia, UNICEF has been the main partner providing technical support to the Government on its UCC strategy and readiness, with today's arrival being just one part of this overall effort. UNICEF will continue to support the immunization programmes of the Cambodian Government through planning and strategy development, vaccine management and demand generation, capacity building, and monitoring to ensure UCC standards are met.

More ultra- cold chain equipment is to be delivered in coming months as part of continued strengthening of UCC in Cambodia.

Media contacts

Rudina Vojvoda
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Cambodia
Tel: +85523260204;ext=434
Bunly Meas
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Cambodia
Tel: +85523260204;ext=435

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