Today, the Ministry of Health received walk-in cold rooms and nutrition supplies from UNICEF, funded by the Government of Japan. These items are meant to improve the health of all children in Sri Lanka.
The cold chain equipment includes 13 walk-in cold rooms – large refrigerators that can store large amounts of temperature-sensitive vaccines – along with portable vaccine carriers, temperature monitors, and other items.
This batch of equipment is part of a contribution of US$ 3 million. The equipment will help ensure proper and safe storage of vaccines, as well as their availability in the areas where they are needed. In addition, nutrition supplies were handed over.
These supplies are part of a contribution of US$ 500,000 to procure micronutrients for children, as well as to carry out screening, provide follow-up services, and offer counseling for malnutrition.
MIZUKOSHI Hideaki, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, said, “It is our honor to provide Walk-in Cold Rooms as part of the “Last One Mile Support” by Japan to ensure equitable access of immunization services for all people in need across the island. We hope this equipment will improve the storage and transportation capacity of various maternal and child health vaccines including COVID-19 and help strengthen Sri Lanka’s healthcare system amid the prevailing economic crisis. The nutritional package will contribute to alleviating the lack of access to stable nutrition that many children are facing due to the rapid price hike and shortages of imported commodities under the economic crisis. We hope that nutrition supplies and high-quality counselling care will provide some relief for children with acute malnutrition.”
“The benefits of investing in immunization are obvious, especially for children. This equipment will help to advance Sri Lanka’s great efforts in routine immunization services, including the ability to respond to other vaccine-preventable emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic”, said Christian Skoog, Representative, UNICEF Sri Lanka. “In regard to malnutrition, it is a condition that can be prevented and treated, and the supplies being handed over today are to help our joint efforts to meet the needs of children,” he added.
The Government of Japan has generously donated to assist UNICEF and the Ministry of Health in tackling both long-term and short-term health requirements of children.