Japan supports safe distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Nicaragua through partnership with UNICEF
Managua, August 27th, 2021. The Government of Japan, through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), provided the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health with equipment to guarantee the reception, conservation, handling and distribution of vaccines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With this initial delivery of supplies to strengthen the vaccines cold chain, purchased thanks to the generous help of the Government of Japan, the efforts made by the Ministry of Health of the Government of Nicaragua are strengthened to face the Covid-19 pandemic. Strengthening the cold chain is essential for the population's equitable access to vaccines, even in the most remote parts of the country. We appreciate the trust they have placed in UNICEF, both the Government of Nicaragua and the Embassy of Japan", said UNICEF Deputy Representative, Eduardo Gallardo.
The equipment donated by the Government of Japan to the Ministry of Health, through UNICEF, will be distributed among the 19 SILAIS in the country. The local Comprehensive Health Care Systems (SILAIS) administer 150 health units, which may function in accordance with the requirements of the COVID-19 vaccine, to benefit approximately 1,200,000 people.
‘‘This donation will reinforce the long experience that the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health has in routine vaccination programs. For Japan, it is very important to participate in the world's efforts to fight this pandemic, including the Covax Facility, therefore, we support countries with different projects. We appreciate the incessant effort of UNICEF to carry out this project”, said the Ambassador of Japan in Nicaragua, Yasuhisa Suzuki.
The following equipment was delivered to the Ministry of Health, to guarantee optimal temperatures for the preservation of the vaccines:
• 600 2.7-liter thermoses, which will be used to transport vaccines during vaccination days.
• 600 freeze-tag electronic freeze indicators, which are used to monitor the temperature in the cold boxes in which vaccines are transported during vaccination days.
• 600 thermometers, to monitor the temperature of the freezers used to store the vaccines.
• 78 (20-liter) thermal boxes plus 3552 cold packs.
• 70 cold packs of 0.6 liters.
The effectiveness of vaccines depends on ensuring that they are kept at the right temperature throughout its journey, from the point where they are manufactured to the vaccination locations.
‘‘This provision is a joint and collaborative effort between the government and people of Japan and UNICEF with our country, which comes to strengthen our cold chain, our ability to store vaccines at the right temperatures and thus ensure the quality and effectiveness of the vaccines we are applying’', said the Minister of Health, Dr. Martha Reyes Alvarez.
The delivery of these kits that reinforce the country's cold chain for the conservation and distribution of vaccines is part of the complementary efforts of the Government of Japan, to the Covax Facility, aimed at promoting equitable access to vaccines, through UNICEF.
Within the framework of the contribution of the Government of Japan and UNICEF, deep-freezing equipment and protective suits will be delivered shortly for the personnel who will use the equipment; solar panels for its operation; a refrigerated truck to transport vaccines; cold packs; and computer equipment to strengthen the monitoring system for the Expanded Immunization Program. The support to the Ministry of Health, also includes contributions for the construction of a Biological Bank.
In addition, UNICEF will contribute complementary funds to the efforts of the Government of Japan, to ensure that new equipment is available and functioning in accordance with the requirements of the Covid-19 vaccine.
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