National vaccination program receives 67 new vaccine conservation units through the support of the Government of Japan and UNICEF
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ASUNCIÓN, November 8, 2021. The Government of Japan and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) donated 67 refrigerators to the Expanded Immunization Program (PAI) of the Ministry of Public Health & Social Welfare (MSPBS) to continue strengthening COVID-19 vaccination actions and build the capacity of the Expanded Immunization Program (PAI).
The event was held at PAI headquarters with the presence of Víctor Martínez, Vice Minister of Integral Healthcare & Social Welfare; Héctor Castro, PAI Director; Nakatani Yoshie, Japanese Ambassador; and Rafael Obregón, UNICEF Representative in Paraguay.
The Vice Minister of Health stated that the donation represents a significant advance as remote regions will be able to refrigerate the vaccines accordingly and local residents will have easy access to them. He explained that maintaining the cold chain ensures the vaccine effectiveness and safety.
The Japanese Ambassador stated: "This donation is not only for an emergency, it will also contribute in the long term because these refrigerators are not only for vaccines, but also for important medicines."
Regarding this cooperation, the UNICEF representative in Paraguay emphasized: “Thanks to this support, lives will be saved, the number of severe COVID-19 cases will be reduced, and the health of mothers, children and communities in Paraguay will be ensured.”
This delivery of equipment to strengthen the PAI cold chain is part of a total of 147 refrigerators for a total value of almost U$ 700,000.
The refrigerators have an ice-coating, a net storage capacity of approximately 250,000 vaccines, low power consumption and are designed to operate in hot environments. They will allow strengthening immunization actions at the community level and in different locations of the country.
This is UNICEF's second delivery of equipment thanks to the cooperation of the Government of Japan. In September this year, it donated seven combined refrigeration and solar freezer units for an approximate value of U$ 58,000.
Solar freezers can store 200,000 doses each and were distributed to the different health regions and the National Vaccine Center.
These units are part of the non-reimbursable financial cooperation of the Government of Japan to the Republic of Paraguay for a value of U$ 2,391,000 to strengthen the cold chain for COVID-19 vaccine conservation. The assistance seeks to benefit approximately 1,500,000 inhabitants.
The cooperation is based on the need of the MSPBS to build the capacity of the National Immunization Program in the long term, and it also includes training for technical and health personnel on the use and maintenance of the cold chain conservation units.
This activity is part of the technical support provided by UNICEF to the Paraguayan Government's health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which also includes actions in risk communication and community participation to increase the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination.
UNICEF promueve los derechos y el bienestar de todos los niños y niñas en todo lo que hacemos. Junto a nuestros aliados, trabajamos en 190 países y territorios para transformar este compromiso en acciones prácticas, centrando especialmente nuestros esfuerzos en llegar a los niños más vulnerables y excluidos, para el beneficio de todos los niños, en todas partes.
Para más información sobre UNICEF y su trabajo para la niñez, visite www.unicef.org/paraguay.