Antananarivo, March 05, 2019: Another step towards improving the health of the Malagasy population, especially young children, has been made today by signing the agreement between UNICEF and the Ministry of Public Health.
An additional 500 basic health-care centres (BHCC) out of 2660 will soon benefit from solar fridges to strengthen the cold chain and vaccine storage.
Among these 500 BHCC: 400 of them use fridge fueled by oil and the other 100 do not even have them. It is difficult for them to carry out immunization activities independently. Another hundred BHCC are in places that are difficult to access during the rainy season. The equipment is intended for the 77 districts located in each of the 22 regions.
UNICEF will provide the process from the purchase of these equipment to their peripheral installation and training of health workers.
This initiative, costing approximately USD 4,5 million (80% of which comes from GAVI and 20% from the Malagasy State), and comes at exactly the right time to improve the availability of quality vaccines in sufficient quantities in vulnerable localities.
This endowment will also improve the quality of the health service because more than 50% of BHCC in Madagascar are managed by a single health worker.
"It's an ongoing process that will take a few years to replace fridge fueled by oil in all Madagascar's BHCC with solar refrigerators of low energy consumption," said UNICEF Representative Michel Saint-Lot. Madagascar.
"The petroleum refrigerator is difficult to manage because it’s difficult to ensure supply especially when you are alone at the station. Also, spare parts are rare if the equipment is damaged or broken down. Added to this is the poor quality of oil but also the damage it could do to the environment, " explains a health worker in the rural municipality of Morondava II. At this time, 1,816 CSBs still operate on oil.
These solar fridges will be a boon to the 500 BHCC beneficiaries. Only 30% (809) of the basic health centers operate with solar refrigerators in Madagascar.
In addition to these 500 BHCC, 42 districts will each benefit from a freezer for recharging accumulators and cold diffusers needed for different vaccination campaigns.
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.