Project financed by the Government of Japan and implemented by UNICEF Cuba held an official donation delivery ceremony
The actions of the project “Strengthening of the health capabilities for the COVID-19 crisis” have benefitted more than six million people, including 1.2 million children.
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Havana, 21 December.- The official donation delivery ceremony of the project “Strengthening of the health capabilities for the COVID-19 crisis was held at the “Lidia y Clodomira” general clinic in the municipality of Regla, with the presence of Japan’s Ambassador in Cuba His Excellency Mr. Hirata Kenji, UNICEF’s Representative in Cuba Alejandra Trossero, the Senior Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade Ana Teresita González, the Deputy Minister of Public Health in charge of hygiene and epidemiology Dr. Carilda Peña, and other health authorities in Havana, workers, scientists and members of the diplomatic corps in the country.
Ambassador Kenji expressed his satisfaction with the joint collaboration between his Government, UNICEF and the Cuban authorities, in order to bring to fruition an initiative that has supported the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that the project’s impact went beyond controlling coronavirus. “The cold chain, strengthened by this project, also has a positive impact on other vaccination campaigns, as well as on scientific and technological research. It brings me great satisfaction that Japan has been able to do something favorable for our Cuban friends at such an important moment”, he acknowledged.
UNICEF’s Representative in Cuba, Alejandra Trossero, stated, “We’ve been able to act swiftly at a time of much concern and urgency for the country, as COVID-19 was, in order to support the Cuban people and its healthcare institutions in strengthening their cold chain and their health system.” She added that the project does not only constitute direct support in fighting the pandemic, but also a long-term benefit, since the infrastructure will remain in place in the country and it’s useful to carry on with vaccination. “This project will benefit more than six million people, including 1.2 million children”, she highlighted.
Senior Deputy Minister of MINCEX, Ana Teresita González, thanked the Government of Japan for its support, at a time in which Cuba was going through the peak of the pandemic. For her part, the Deputy Minister of MINSAP, Dr. Carilda Peña, acknowledged that the donations received through this project have been vital in achieving the results the country boasts today.
On behalf of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Peña thanked the Government of Japan and UNICEF for this project, which has strengthened the cold chain with the acquisition of equipment, including refrigerators pre-qualified by the WHO, cold boxes, Icepack cold accumulators / Icepack for coolers and continuous recording thermometers, as well as syringes.
“Cooperation with UNICEF has helped us maintain achievements in the field of maternal and child health, including the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, with significant donations of medications and supplies. UNICEF contributes annually with the donation of 70% of the required doses of the MMR vaccine, administered to one-year-olds”, explained Deputy Minister Peña.
Results attained by the project in the first year of its implementation
- More than 10,000 health professionals in the areas with greater transmission have personal protective equipment (PPE).
- 255 general clinics in seven of the country’s provinces (Pinar del Río, La Habana, Matanzas, Camagüey, Granma, Santiago de Cuba, Guantánamo and the Isle of Youth special municipality) and 4 maternity hospitals have supplies for vaccination, such as syringes, safety boxes for syringe disposal, among others.
- 8 pediatric hospitals in La Habana were strengthened with accessories for oxygen therapy.
- 3 pediatric hospitals and 2 maternity hospitals, in La Habana, have high-performance ultrasound devices that have enabled them to resume their medical imaging service for bone and soft tissues.
- 255 general clinics have guaranteed temperature control in the cold chain for the General Immunization Program (PAI).
- 255 general clinics in primary health care (PHC) and 13 hospitals in mother and child health in La Habana received new LED luminaries, which have enabled them to improve medical procedures.
- 255 general clinics in PHC and 13 hospitals in mother and child health strengthened the cold chain with the acquisition of 447 refrigerators pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Two scientific centers belonging to the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries Group (BIOCUBAFARMA) and related to vaccine development strengthened their cold chain with the acquisition of refrigerators pre-qualified by the WHO, cold boxes with their temperature regulators and Icepack cold accumulators, as well as freezers for the development of new vaccine candidates.
- 60 neonatology specialists, including the heads of reference services in the country, members of the National group of neonatal nursing and heads of nursing at medical services improved and updated their knowledge of neonatal health.
- 40 health professionals in-person, and another 20 virtually, exchanged experiences and strengthened their knowledge through the UNFPA – UNICEF joint workshop.
- 63 health professionals strengthened their capabilities in perinatal attention.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.