Government of Japan & UNICEF hand over cold chain equipment to Ministry of Health and Wellness
Helping ensure COVID-19 vaccines can be transported islandwide and stored at the right temperature to maintain vaccine quality.
KINGSTON, 9 December, 2021 – The Government of Japan and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today handed over an initial donation of cold chain equipment being provided to the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), to support the drive for effective and inclusive COVID-19 vaccination in Jamaica.
Cold chain equipment is essential to ensure that some COVID-19 vaccines are transported to vaccination sites across the island and stored at the right temperature in order to maintain vaccine quality.
The initial donation of 85 cold boxes valued at approximately USD $20,000 will help ensure adequate storage and transportation of vaccines in line with international standards.
The full donation of equipment includes 80 deep freezers to be installed at high volume vaccination sites, 300 vaccine carriers, 370 cold boxes, 2,000 ice packs, 281 temperature monitoring devices and two large vehicles with refrigeration capacity.
The Government of Japan’s donation covered the total cost of all supplies. UNICEF Jamaica managed the procurement through its Supply Division which has been supporting the global effort to respond to the pandemic.
The collaborative effort by the Government of Japan and UNICEF will also cover an assessment of Jamaica’s cold chain and vaccine supply management system and training of technicians and relevant health facility staff members in the operation and maintenance of the cold chain equipment. Additionally, the contribution covers the implementation of a digital platform to support real-time monitoring of vaccination rates and communication with members of the public.
Japan is investing a total of US$11.1 million to support vaccine delivery in six countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Today, I am pleased to be able to build further on our ‘J-J partnership.’ Currently, ensuring equitable access globally including developing countries and accelerating vaccination is the common challenge for the international community towards the goal of containing COVID-19. The Government of Japan hopes that today’s assistance will further support the ongoing effective implementation of the Jamaican Government’s COVID-19 measures, building upon the donation of medical equipment valued at around US$2 million donated earlier this year. Based on our experiences, it is my hope that today’s support from Japan will lead to quick and safe delivery of vaccines throughout Jamaica. We know ‘no one is safe until everyone is safe’. Japan remains fully committed to tackling and overcoming this crisis, hand-in-hand with all the partners including Jamaica and UNICEF,” said His Excellency Ambassador Masaya Fujiwara, the Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica.
“This afternoon is another tangible demonstration of partnership in public health and a prime example of international cooperation in health between two countries that have enjoyed diplomatic relations since the 1960s. These supplies will support the Government’s National Vaccination Implementation programme as they will be distributed and utilized in health centres and health departments across the island. In thanking the Government and people of Japan, we hail them as a global health leader that have made significant strides in health, particularly in universal health coverage and infectious disease control,” noted Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health & Wellness.
"This latest offer from the Government and people of Japan marks another significant chapter in the very vibrant and dynamic relations that we have enjoyed since the establishment of diplomatic relations over the past fifty-seven years" said State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Leslie Campbell. In recalling the many critical areas of assistance provided by Japan, he also expressed appreciation for the support extended to the country by the United Nations and its Specialised Agencies like UNICEF. The Minister praised these partnerships as the global community strives to recover from COVID-19.
The Japanese donation is in response to UNICEF’s global 2021 Humanitarian Action for Children Appeal for “Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A)” which requests US$659 million to enable UNICEF and partners to support global efforts to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
“UNICEF Jamaica is deeply grateful to the Government of Japan for working closely with us on this critical effort to safely deliver and store vaccines across Jamaica,” said UNICEF Jamaica Country Representative Mariko Kagoshima. “We are proud to contribute to the national drive for vaccination being led by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, which we strongly believe is vital to protect the health of Jamaicans and to bring this pandemic under control so that we can regain some normalcy for children and their families.”
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 in Jamaica, visit www.unicef.org/jamaica.