Itapúa is now able to store one million vaccines as a result of the cooperation between UNICEF and Japan

29 June 2022
Foto entrega cámara Encarnación
The Japanese ambassador, Nakatani Yoshie, shows the cold room to the representative of Japan Okuno Shinsuke, president of the Nippon-Paraguayan Cooperation Association.

ASUNCIÓN, June 28th, 2022. The department of Itapúa now has the capacity to store one million vaccines as a result if the cooperation from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the support of the Japanese Government. The VII Health Region of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare (MSPBS by its Spanish initials) received a refrigerating chamber this week, the first of its kind in the region, as part of a strengthening program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The delivery ceremony was held at the headquarters of the VII Health Region, in Encarnación, and was attended by the Japanese ambassador, Nakatani Yoshie; the Japanese deputy Okuno Shinsuke, the president of the Nippon-Paraguayan Cooperation Association; the Vice Minister of Comprehensive Health Care and Social Welfare, Víctor Hernán Martínez; the Director of the Extended Immunization Program, Héctor Castro; the Director of the VII Health Region, José Carlos Acosta; the Governor of Itapuá, Christian Urunaga; the Mayor of Encarnación, Alfredo Yd; Senator Juan Afara; Deputy Walter Harms, Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission of Friendship with Japan; the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations, Mario Samaja; and the representative of UNICEF in Paraguay, Rafael Obregón, among other departmental and local authorities.

"The Japanese Government offers its contribution to ensure that a greater number of Paraguayan citizens can receive vaccines safely," said Ambassador Yoshie, thanking the presence of Congressman Shinsuke, who is visiting the country for the first time,.

The donation has been made as part of the project entitled " Reinforcement of cold chain systems in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Paraguay", which is being executed by UNICEF with the cooperation of the Japanese Government and includes a total of five refrigeration chambers for vaccine storage that are being installed in Asunción city and the Central Department, in addition to the one in Itapúa. More than 1,700,000 people will benefit from this equipment.

"For us, as the Ministry of Health, this chamber capable of storing over one million doses of vaccines represents enormous progress”, tripling the storage capacity, highlighted Vice-Minister Martinez.

The UNICEF representative, Rafael Obregón, thanked the Japanese Government for the opportunity of working together to support the Paraguayan Government in strengthening the cold chain for the handling of vaccines against COVID-19 and the vaccines that form part of the regular program.

The delivery of these refrigerating chambers represent part of the financial cooperation from the Japanese Government to the Republic of Paraguay amounting to USD 2,391,000 to strengthen the anti-COVID-19 vaccination program. In addition to the purchasing of state-of-the-art cold chain equipment, the project also includes the training of technical and health personnel in the use and maintenance of the cold chain preservation equipment.

This donation is made in addition to the 15 ultra-low temperature refrigerators and seven solar-powered refrigerators that have already been donated to the Chaco services, including 147 high range refrigerators and 10 remote temperature monitoring kits.

UNICEF has been providing support to the Ministry of Health in three areas related to access to vaccines and their coverage: increasing community confidence in vaccines through risk communication and community participation; strengthening the capacity of services; and strengthening the cold chain with high-tech equipment to facilitate access to vaccines.

Media contacts

Cecilia Sirtori
Oficial de Comunicación
UNICEF Paraguay
Tel: +595 21 611 007/8 int. 132
Diego Brom
Asociado de Comunicación
UNICEF Paraguay
Tel: +595 21 611 007/8 int. 218
Tel: +595 981 942 148


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