The Government of Japan and UNICEF Philippines welcomed the arrival of PhP36M worth of cold chain equipment to strengthen vaccination in the country, part of PhP 190M support by the Government of Japan through UNICEF to the Philippines COVID-19 response. A cold chain is a system of ensuring the potency of vaccines in temperature-controlled environments from the time it is manufactured up to the time is administered to the child, adolescent or mother.
The Philippines’ immunization cold chain is vulnerable to shocks due to natural disasters and frequent public health emergencies The low coverage of immunization is attributed to various factors, including critical gaps in cold storage capacity at the national and subnational levels, particularly in the Bangsamoro region.
The donation from the Japan Government includes walk-in cold rooms and freezers, solar-powered refrigerators, power generators, temperature monitoring devices, spare parts, and thermal jackets. Around 35 provinces all over the Philippines including Geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas such as Batanes, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, disaster-prone places such as Albay and Cagayan, and the National Vaccine store will receive the cold chain equipment and training on how to use and maintain them.
“We are thankful to be in close cooperation once again with UNICEF for yet another invaluable mission. Over the years, our partnership with UNICEF has produced tangible results in many ways. In time for UNICEF’s 75th anniversary, today’s ceremony is a fresh manifestation of its diligent work,” Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko conveys. “We hope these equipment will be instrumental in bringing lifesaving support to Filipino children and their families nationwide. By working together, I am certain that we can make a lasting difference in their lives,” the Japanese Ambassador adds.
Vaccine-preventable diseases put a high economic burden on the country and hinders the growth and development of children. We need to prevent further outbreaks by ensuring that children are immunized according to schedule through routine immunization services and vaccination outreach and campaigns. The COVID-19 vaccine roll-out puts additional pressure on the country’s existing cold chain systems thus require additional support in terms of cold chain equipment and other devices.
“We can improve COVID-19 vaccination roll-out and the routine immunization services with the adequate equipment and skills. The arrival of the cold chain equipment through generous support of GoJ, will indeed, support filling the critical gaps in the supply/cold chain in the Philippines. We thank the
Government of Japan for their untiring efforts in promoting the health and well-being of Filipino children,” UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov says.
UNICEF, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and the Embassy of Japan, celebrating 65 years of Philippine-Japan friendship, have been long-standing partners in ensuring the fulfilment of the rights of every child in the country. Apart from providing assistance for COVID-19, the Government of Japan has helped children affected by conflict and natural disasters all over the Philippines.