The Japanese government has pledged $39 million support to Nigeria and 31 other African and Latin American nations afflicted by COVID-19 for the construction of a vaccine cold chains.
The funds will go to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to supplement the work of COVAX, an international vaccine procurement system that aims to ensure that people in all countries have access to vaccinations quickly and fairly.
In a statement released to media on Monday, UNICEF pledged to work with the Nigerian government to provide cold chain equipment at priority storage sites based on a gap analysis to boost vaccine storage capacity and potency monitoring.
UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Rushnan Murtaza, who welcomed the Japanese support to Nigeria, said it would have a far-reaching impact on the country’s COVID-19 prevention strategy through vaccination as well as the entire immunisation programme for child survival.
She said: “A walk-in freezer room will be installed in each of the selected six states. This includes solar vaccine refrigerators to be installed in 175 wards that have a gap in vaccine storage capacity.
“Temperature monitoring devices will be installed across 18 states cold stores, and technical assistance will be provided to carry out the setting up and maintenance of the equipment and devices. These supplies will ensure the quality of the vaccines.
“These funds will allow us to more effectively implement the strategy to ensure as many Nigerians as possible receive COVID-19 vaccinations, ensuring timeliness and efficacy of the vaccines, so that we can work towards a better future for all.
“UNICEF will continue to work with the Government of Nigeria, the Government of Japan, and other partners to support the COVID-19 response and to deliver positive outcomes for child survival and promote equitable access to vaccines for all.”