The project “Strenghtening Health Capacity for the COVID–19 Crisis” reaches its first year

This collaboration aimed at strengthening the capacities of the National Health System in Cuba with funds from the Government of Japan, shows positive results in its first year of implementation

25 November 2022
El Excmo. Sr.  Kenji Hirata, Embajador de Japón en Cuba, presidió el balance del primer año de implementación del proyecto.
Miguel E. Gómez

Havana, November 24, 2022 – One year after the signing of the project “Strengthening Health Capacity for the COVID-19 Crisis”, led by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Cuba, with funding from the Government of Japan and the participation of Cuban authorities, a meeting was held yesterday to review the implementation of the actions of this collaboration aimed at ensuring human security in times of pandemic, through support to the health system, the vaccination campaign and health education.

The event was presided over by H.E. Mr. Kenji Hirata, Ambassador of Japan to Cuba, Dr. Reinol Fermín García Moreiro, Deputy Minister of Health, and UNICEF Representative in the country, Alejandra Trossero.

In his opening remarks, the Japanese Ambassador to Cuba, H.E. Mr. Kenji Hirata, acknowledged that he was “very excited to hear about the progress in the implementation of this project”. He also expressed special gratitude to the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) and UNICEF for their support in its implementation.

The project includes the purchase of equipment and supplies valued at US$2,018,570.48 to contribute to strengthening the technical capacities of the island’s health institutions and scientific centers belonging to BIOCUBAFARMA, linked to the development of vaccines.

The support will benefit a total of 255 general clinics in the provinces of Pinar del Río, La Habana, Matanzas, Camagüey, Granma, Santiago de Cuba, Guantánamo and the Isle of Youth Special Municipality; it will also strengthen the institutional capacities of 13 hospitals in Havana linked to maternal and child care, as well as the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) and the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV). It is estimated that a total population of 6.6 million people, including 1,271,231 children, will benefit as a result of the project’s contribution.

The resources already acquired consist of equipment to strengthen the cold chain, vaccination supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and high-performance ultrasound equipment for pediatric and maternity hospitals, oxygen therapy accessories and LED luminaires to improve medical procedures.

Efforts are still being made for the acquisition of means to guarantee adequate hygiene conditions, and of an ambulance with state-of-the-art life support equipment, among others.

The project has also enabled the technical training of health personnel in charge of the immunization program, linked to maternal, infant and neonatal care, at the primary and secondary health care levels. Similarly, health promotion and education interventions have been developed and will continue to be carried out.

These actions are aimed at continuing support for institutions and the technical capacities of health personnel to treat complications related to COVID-19, in the administration of vaccines and maternal and child care, and to contribute to raising public awareness of the benefits of vaccines, prevention of COVID-19 and other good practices.

About the meeting, the Representative of UNICEF Cuba, Ms. Alejandra Trossero, said: “2022 has been a year of great challenges at a global level that have had an impact on the acquisition of the supplies for this project. The alliance with the People and Government of Japan has been decisive in the acquisition of equipment to strengthen the country’s cold chain, which has had a positive impact on the development of vaccination campaigns.”

For his part, the Deputy Minister of Public Health, Dr. Reinol Fermín García, thanked the Government of Japan and UNICEF for this project “whose funds are used for the acquisition of equipment and supplies to strengthen the cold chain in vaccination, such as refrigerators, coolers, syringes, among others, and in primary and secondary health care.” He also highlighted how this experience can open the door to future joint collaborations for the benefit of the Cuban people’s health.

Media contacts

Tania Muñoz
Oficial de Comunicaciones
United Nations Children´s Fund - UNICEF Cuba
Tel: (+537) 2086307
Tel: (+537) 2089791

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