Japanese govt, UNICEF forge pact boosting immunization drive
THE government of Japan pledged an additional P190 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to strengthen the support to the Philippines’s immunization response to the pandemic.
This is part of the Japanese assistance to 25 countries in the Southeast and Southwest Asian as well as Pacific Island regions totaling $41 million. If will enable UNICEF in the Philippines to provide around 147 health facilities with vaccine cold rooms and solar refrigerators—including 2,000 health facilities with temperature-monitoring devices, training of more than 50 technicians to operate and maintain the new facilities, and equipping 300 health-care facility staff with necessary skills for their use and monitoring.
Other components of the programme will include development of immunization policy and procedures; building surveillance and in-country laboratory capacities for the early detection, investigation and management of vaccine-preventable diseases; as well as management and strengthening of information-management systems.
“The costs of the pandemic for children are immediate and, if unaddressed, may persist throughout their lives,” UNICEF Representative to the Philippines Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov said. “The availability and equitable distribution of vaccines is critical for putting an end to this global pandemic. We thank the government of Japan for their support in ensuring a robust cold chain is in place and immunization services are strengthened.”