Islamabad, 20 October 2021 (TDI): Pakistan received cold chain optimization equipment worth USD 6.59 million from the Japanese Government. The equipment is procured through United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It is meant to enhance national storage capacity for the COVID-19 vaccine. It was handed over to Pakistani Government today in a ceremony.
HANDING-TAKING OVER CEREMONY
Dr. Nausheen Hamid, the Parliamentary Secretary on Health, received the equipment from Matsuda Kuninori, the Ambassador of Japan. Aida Girma, the UNICEF Representative in Pakistan, was present at the occasion. The handing-taking over ceremony was at the National Emergency Operation Centre, Expanded Programme for Immunization (EPI).
Dr. Nausheen Hamid thanked Japan for the equipment and other contributions to Pakistan over 70 years of diplomatic ties. The two are partners in multiple sectors including education, health, etc. Pakistan values its relation with Japan and aims to deepen the ties.
COLD CHAIN OPTIMIZATION EQUIPMENT
Pakistan has an efficient ‘Expanded Programme for Immunization’ with a strong cold chain system. However, it can be jeopardized by severe weather conditions of the country.
The equipment acquired through Japan’s help involves power generators, voltage regulators, and temperature monitoring devices. This equipment will help at provincial and district levels where power shortage and fluctuation is a persistent hazard. It will maintain the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccine.
The Japanese Ambassador on his part enunciated Japan’s priority for the health sector in Pakistan. Japan provides aid in Polio Eradication, Maternal & Child Health, Routine Immunization, and counter Covid-19 measures.
He expressed Japan’s intent to launch a new area of cooperation in the future. A sum of $23.5 million grant assistance was provided by Japan for Pakistan. The assistance comes to counter Covid-19 and cover the provision medical equipment and training of health care staff.
UNICEF is assisting Pakistan to procure Covid-19 vaccines via the COVAX facility. The UNICEF’s Pakistan Representative said that the ceremony will reinforce efforts between Pakistan and Japan.