UNICEF develops network of high-quality vaccine storage in Ukraine
Zakarpattia is one of 26 regions to have received an innovative walk-in cold room for storing vaccines and protecting against infectious diseases
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has purchased 26 cold rooms that will help to ensure correct vaccine storage and handling of cold chain requirements at medical facilities in 20 regions of Ukraine.
The walk-in cold rooms ensure the effectiveness of stored vaccines, which are especially important for children during wartime, and help to develop a network of high-quality vaccine storage in Ukraine.
Lvivska, Kmelnytska and Zakarpattia are amongst the regions to have received the rooms, amid an ongoing war that has displaced millions.
"We, epidemiologists, work to ensure that our people, and especially our children, are healthy even amidst a difficult time of war,” says Liubov Danych, an epidemiologist at the Zakarpattia Regional Center for Disease Control and Prevention within the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. “Our mission is to prevent the emergence and spread of infectious diseases of any level of danger.”
The cold rooms meet the highest world quality standards and requirements for cold chain compliance. They also contain a special antimicrobial coating that prevents the transmission and spread of potentially harmful bacteria, reliable cooling technology, and remote temperature monitoring. Thanks to the rooms, vaccines in Ukraine can now be safely stored at temperatures from +2 to +8 C.
Dangerous diseases against which vaccines must be stored in compliance with the cold chain include measles, diphtheria, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, influenza and COVID-19.
"Many people in Ukraine put in all their efforts to ensure protection from dangerous and deadly diseases,” says Danych. “These are communities of specialists, infectious disease centres, medical professionals, family doctors, and so on. And it's great that UNICEF, together with the COVAX initiative, provides the arrangement of such an important refrigeration unit for this process.”
“As an epidemiologist, I urge all Ukrainians, especially parents, to focus on the vaccination schedule and catch up on everything you missed. I'm especially addressing mothers who, in order to save their children, fled to Zakarpatia. Dear women, please, do not hesitate. You will have all the support you need. In this difficult time, we should do everything possible to protect ourselves and our children. The better the collective immunity, the healthier Ukraine is.”
As part of its support for the vaccination campaign in Ukraine, UNICEF and partners will install the cold rooms across Ukraine during the first half of 2023.