Ministry of Health receives Immunization Cold Chain Equipment and transport to boost health service delivery

Kampala - 06 February 2020- The Ministry of Health has received immunization and transport equipment worth Shs33bn procured by World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF with support from The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). Among these equipment include; 657 motorcycles, 996 solar fridges, 10 generators, vaccine carriers and cold boxes. The motorcycles will mainly be used for the distribution of vaccines and will be allocated to Health Centre IIIs.

Ten generators will be allocated to District National Medical Stores and 1 generator will be allocated to the Central National Medical Store. The vaccine carriers are over 5000 and the cold boxes are over 1000. The equipment will be used by health facilities in the countryside to support immunization programs.

The Prime Minister, Rt.Hon.Ruhakana Rugunda who commissioned the immunization transport and cold chain equipment that will be used to strengthen disease prevention in Uganda urged district officials to ensure that there is proper utilization of these facilities. The motorcycles are meant for immunization please do not take them for boda boda and other things because that will cause us problems we will fight to ensure that they remain on course to help our children be immunized. The Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda further extended the minister's caution to the receiving parties on the use of the equipment.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng emphasized the deep necessity of the equipment for the country saying It is our goal that every child who needs vaccination in Uganda is immunized and protected from preventable diseases so that they live to their full potential. It is also our goal that we get rid of unimmunized and under immunized children and we intend to achieve this within the next three years and that is why we are intensifying provisions of equipment to the districts.

Dr. Aceng appealed to the districts not to take the equipment given to them for granted. Whenever we provide for them, there's excitement and then one month down the road, the equipment are packed and are no longer in use. We are providing money under Immunization Systems Support to the districts but also under Primary Health Care to ensure that the equipment remains functional and that they do the work that it is intended to do.'

The GAVI supported Health System Strengthening Grant will equip the national system with improved infrastructure to deliver vaccines. We are proud to contribute to the strengthening of the national system, in order to achieve equitable access to immunization services and improved health outcomes. Noreen Prendiville, Deputy Representative of UNICEF Uganda said in her remarks at the Ministry of Health's launch of the Health System Strengthening and Cold Chain Equipment Optimization Platform initiative at Kololo Airstrip.

The allocation of the assets to districts was informed by a number of field assessments that included whether;the district benefited had from the Gavi HSS grant I, availability and current state of equipment in the districts,new districts formed before 2018/19, Underserved areas and obsolete fridges technologies.

GAVI is an international organisation working to create a link between the public and private sectors in order to give the world's children equal access to vaccines. Its focus is mostly on the world's poorest countries.

Source: Ministry of Health

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