Government of Japan contributes essential cold chain equipment to Papua New Guinea
Supporting the country’s immunization programs
Papua New Guinea received essential cold chain equipment worth approximately US$ 3 million from the Government of Japan that will support the country’s routine immunization and COVID-19 vaccination programs. These equipments - 84 long term passive cold boxes and 300 mobile devices (tablets) – were handed over by the Government of Japan to the National Department of Health at a brief ceremony today. A further donation of 500 temperature sensors to monitor vaccine storage temperature and to ensure quality will arrive a little later.
“Cold chain equipment is a critical and essential element of immunization services that allow for the safe storage of vaccines to maintain quality and effectiveness and ensure optimal performance,” UNICEF Representative, Dr. Claudes Kamenga said.
“Through the generous financial contribution by the Government of Japan, UNICEF was able to procure these essential pieces of equipment that will greatly contribute toward preventing stock-out of essential vaccines needed to protect children against deadly but preventable diseases, and saving the lives of thousands of Papua New Guineans, especially children.”
“The equipment that we provide today is aimed at assisting the delivery of vaccines to everyone throughout the country who wish to get vaccinated,” Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Japan, Mr. Shinichi Maruo explained.
“The Government and people of Japan are pleased to continue to support the Government and people of Papua New Guinea in their fight against COVID-19 pandemic.”
The long-term passive cold boxes can safely store vaccines between 0℃ and 10℃ for at least 35 days, operating within an ambient temperature range of 25℃ to 43℃. The mobile devices will support the logistic information management to avoid stock out and minimize vaccine wastage. This is a significant boost for vaccine management in remote and hard to reach communities.
In reaffirming UNICEF’s commitment to work collaboratively with the Government of Japan and other partners to support the Government of PNG in all its efforts to strengthen the immunization programme, Dr. Kamenga called on the Government to do more to ensure that vaccines were readily available in health facilities and further appealed to parents and caregivers to make sure all children received their vaccinations.
Health Secretary, Dr. Osborne Liko thanked the Government of Japan for the donation and UNICEF for the partnership that will allow almost all the provincial health authorities to build their human resource and logistics capacity to effectively deliver the country’s immunization programs.