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Kenya, 22 December 2016: UNICEF transports vaccines and equipment to Garissa after fire at Ministry of Health Depot

© UNICEF Kenya/2016/Oloo
UNICEF driver, Henry Kiraithe (left) confirms with the Central Vaccine Store staff that all the vaccines and other supplies have been loaded onto the lorry, ready for transportation to Garissa County.

NAIROBI, Kenya, 22 December 2016 – UNICEF has transported a shipment of vaccines and assorted medical supplies to Garissa after a fire gutted down the Ministry of Health’s Regional Vaccine Depot which served the health facilities within the Northern Kenya Counties of Garissa, Mandera and Wajir. Millions of shillings worth of medicines, equipment and other medical commodities were destroyed in the fire on 14 December 2016, leaving hundreds of health facilities in the region without critical supplies for effective service delivery.

Before the fire incident, the depot had pharmaceuticals and equipment pre-positioned for distribution to Garissa, Mandera and Wajir Counties, which included vaccines meant for routine immunization activities that had not yet been dispatched to various facilities.

© UNICEF Kenya/2016/Oloo
The UNICEF lorry carrying essential vaccines and other supplies at the Central Vaccines Depot in Kitengela before leaving for Garissa on 22 December 2016.

The transportation of supplies from the Central Vaccines Store in Kitengela aboard a UNICEF lorry on Wednesday afternoon, is part of initial emergency response activities that are being undertaken to help replenish medical supplies lost in the Garissa Regional Depot inferno. UNICEF’s Representative to Kenya, Werner Schultink says, “The loss caused by the fire is huge and quick action is needed to ensure that critical medical supplies are available for children and women in all the affected counties. UNICEF has offered to transport the commodities to Garissa, which will then be distributed to the other counties as other mechanisms are put in place to normalize supply and storage functions in the region.”

The UNICEF truck carrying the supplies reached its destination at the Garissa County Hospital early Thursday morning and was met by staff from the of Ministry of Health, UNICEF and WHO. UNICEF’s Health Specialist, Dr. Abdullahi Abagira, officially handed over the inventory of supplies to the Regional Vaccines Depot Manager, Mohamed Hareth at the county hospital. Mr. Hareth says, “The initiative taken to launch this emergency distribution of commodities will have a big impact on our health facilities and indeed the residents of the entire region. This delivery will assist in ensuring that the most urgent supplies such as vaccines, syringes, refrigerators, safety boxes and stationery are quickly availed.”

© UNICEFKenya/2016/Abagira
UNICEF’s Health Specialist, Dr. Abdullahi Abagira (left), officially hands over the inventory of supplies including vaccines and medical equipment upon arrival in Garissa to the Regional Vaccines Store Manager, Mr. Mohamed Hareth. The consignment was transported by UNICEF from the Central Vaccines Store in Kitengela.

Once offloaded, the supplies will be kept at the Garissa County Hospital which has been identified as the temporary store that will serve the region. UNICEF pledges to work with the Ministry of Health and the County Governments of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera to help restore the supply of essential medical commodities to all affected areas in a timely and efficient manner.

UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being 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 visit:

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For more information please contact:
Dan Oloo, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Kenya Tel: +254 20 762 22576; Cell: + 254 722 416551; Email:



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