Safely delivered for everyone’ safety
The Government of Japan supports UNICEF to safely procure vaccines through the cold chain to different governorates and remote areas in Egypt
UNICEF is a key partner to the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) in the medical response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, UNICEF provided Personal Protective Equipment to over 110,000 frontline health workers as well as disinfectants, soap, ventilators, and other life-saving equipment to COVID patients in public hospitals. UNICEF has also reached more than 65 million people with COVID-related messages.
With the roll out of vaccines, UNICEF stepped up its support to procure and upgrade cold chains, to train health workers, and encourage public demand for vaccination.
Along with being one of the main donors of COVAX (the global vaccine supply initiative that provided Egypt with more than 80 million vaccine doses as of April 2022), the Japanese government has supported UNICEF’s vaccine procurement strategy by providing cold chain equipment worth more than one million USD to the Ministry of Health..
Successful immunization programs are built on functional, end-to-end supply chain and logistics systems. The role of the supply chain is to ensure effective vaccine storage, handling, and stock management; rigorous temperature control; and management of information systems.
Non-medical teams working in vaccine procurement are being trained on data entry, supply chain monitoring and safe disposal of wastes. As of April 2022, the cold chain equipment procured included 600 refrigerators, 883 cold boxes and 1,000 vaccine carriers that upgrade and increase the inventory capacities of MOHP to accommodate large volumes of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
The successful introduction of COVID-19 vaccines requires having sufficient staff and providing them with high-quality training.
Almost $200,000 of the government of Japan’s fund is being directed to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry’ staff. This takes place in the form of a series of trainings that covers topics such as management, transport and storage of COVID-19 vaccines, cold chain management, infection prevention and control, waste management and identification of adverse events following immunization.
As health workers play a unique role in promoting vaccination, as first recipients of vaccines and trusted opinion leaders when it comes to vaccination, they are trained to further enhance their communication skills, and to build public confidence on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.
To ensure effective vaccination, without interrupting routine immunization of younger children, at least 250 new vaccination sites will be established in 2022.
In 2021, H.E. Ambassador NOKE of Japan stated: “I am delighted to see the arrival of additional doses through the COVAX Facility, especially as Japan co-hosted with Gavi - the Vaccine Alliance, the Summit on COVAX in June and announced the contribution of US$ 1 billion, more than 10% of allocations to COVAX. I also hope to see the positive impact of our support through UNICEF for cold storage of vaccines to 760 posts across Egypt by the end of August. Japan’s cooperation to Egypt in the fight against COVID-19 amounts to more than US$ 250 million, including the provision of Japanese medical equipment and support for vulnerable women and children. Japan will continue to support Egyptian efforts under the concept of human security leaving no one behind”.
Recently, another agreement between UNICEF and the Government of Japan was signed to dedicate $3,439,957 to increase national capacity of cold chain equipment, capacity building of the health staff, social mobilization and monitoring of the vaccination process.