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Vaccine Cold-Chain Store For 3 Million Children and Women Inaugurated in Nigeria Today

Lagos, February 7, 2011 - Vaccine cold-chain stores that can serve up to 3-million children and pregnant women was inaugurated today by the Lagos State Ministry of Health, the Embassy of Japan in Nigeria and UNICEF.

The storage facilities - part of the national cold chain rehabilitation plan - will serve Lagos and the South-West states. It is supported by the Japanese Government funding, procured through UNICEF and will serve local and state governments.

The total cost for the five rooms commissioned today is N34.5 million. The event was attended by the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris; Oladimeji Olayinka of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency; the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Toshitsugu Uesawa; the Country Director of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Mr. Yoshitaka Sumi; and UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Dr. Suomi Sakai.

Dr. Idris said the improved cold storage facilities will go a long way in helping to achieve the goal of 80 percent routine immunization coverage in the state.

"I earnestly hope that this project will improve the welfare of Nigerian children," said Ambassador Uesawa. "I encourage Nigerians to continue to take action to reach the MDGs. As long as the Government of Nigeria shows leadership towards reaching the MDGs, Japan will work with the Nigerian people as a partner and friend."

The Government of Japan has been one of the major donors, through UNICEF, of Nigeria's polio eradication and immunization programme since 2000. Last December, Japan donated N1.5-billion for the procurement of polio vaccines, cold chain equipment, Long-Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets and child survival supplies designated for Child Health Weeks.

Dr. Sakai thanked the Government and people of Japan for their "significant investments towards providing adequate cold chain equipment to health facilities throughout the country. This has impacted positively on routine immunization results in Nigeria."



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