The Government of Japan strengthens its commitment to strengthening and managing the cold chain for vaccines in Niger
H.E.M. Ikkatai Katsuya, Ambassador of Japan to Niger on a two-day visit to the capital
NIAMEY, 12 April 2023 – Today, UNICEF Niger and the Ministry of Health, welcomed His Excellency M. Ikkatai Katsuya, the ambassador to Niger on an official visit within the context of Japan’s support to COVID-19 vaccine uptake, cold chain management and institutional capacity strengthening of health staff.
The government of Japan has been a strong partner to UNICEF in ensuring effective vaccine delivery in the capital and regions. In 2022, UNICEF Niger received US$2.5 million (FCFA 1.49 billion) to support the national health authorities in their efforts to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine and mitigate the impact of the pandemic, with the overall goal of increasing the country’s existing capacity of the cold chain for all vaccines.
“Our collaboration in this project has resulted in the provision of essential cold chain equipment for health centres throughout Niger. I hope that the capacity and competence of health personnel working in cold chain management will be strengthened thanks to this equipment. My fervent wish is that the cold chain systems installed in the 220 health centres, with our support, are used in a sustainable manner to benefit communities now, and in the future,” said H.E M. Ikkatai Katsuya.
As a result of the contribution from Japan, equipment and training has been provided to the Directorates of Immunisation in five regions in Niger - Dosso, Maradi, Niamey, Tahoua and Zinder. Throughout the country, UNICEF has provided to the Ministry of Health substantive equipment that is essential for maintaining vaccine efficacy including: 220 solar refrigerators, 205 large coolers, 25 large cooler stabilisers, 370 simple temperature monitors, 15 remote temperature monitoring device kits for cold rooms and ultra-low temperature freezers, 30 spare parts kits and 5 coolers for the transport of ultra-low temperature vaccines.
“The government of Niger has made notable progress in vaccine delivery thanks to the contribution from Japan. In 2022, His Excellency Mohamed Bazoum, President of Niger, committed four billion 300 million FCFA (approx. 7.2 million US dollars) to support vaccination in the country. The government’s support has been crucial to increase COVID-19 and routine vaccination and assure vaccine efficacy. By way of example, Niger has seen an increase from 86 per cent to 95 per cent in the proportion of immunisation delivery points with standard cold chain equipment – this is a very tangible result for the children that we aim to reach with routine vaccination services,” said Stefano Savi, UNICEF Representative in Niger.
In Niger, the support from the government of Japan to cold chain management and equipment is contributing directly to the reduction of morbidity and mortality related to COVID-19 disease, by integrating COVID-19 vaccination into the national routine vaccination programme. The action has improved the population’s access to vaccines, the quality of vaccination services and is contributing to the reduction of maternal, infant and neonatal mortality.
Complementary to the acquisition of cold chain vaccine equipment, the financial contribution from Japan has also enabled UNICEF to scale-up community-based interventions to dialogue with families and communities on the availability and importance of vaccines.
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For more information, please contact:
Priscilla Ofori-Amanfo, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Niger, +227 80 06 60 18, email@example.com
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