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.”

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