Japan and UNICEF join hands to strengthen vaccine cold chain in Nepal

This critical support will help Nepal deploy vaccines, including those against Covid-19, throughout the country, the Japanese Embassy and UNICEF said in a joint statement.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Japan has provided grant assistance to strengthen the vaccine cold chain system in Nepal through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Under its grant, Japan has provided high-quality facilities such as 9 walk-in-coolers, 38 solar-driven vaccine refrigerators, 1,109 long-range vaccine carriers, and 53 cold boxes to ensure effective Covid-19 vaccination rollout in Nepal, the Japanese Embassy and UNICEF said in a joint statement.

These facilities have been delivered sequentially throughout Nepal since last year and the delivery of all items was completed on January 30 this year. The grant also supports human resource development for the operation and maintenance of cold chain equipment as well as monitoring for effective management of routine and Covid-19 vaccines by UNICEF.

“Nepal is currently experiencing the third wave of Covid-19 with the Omicron variant, which makes the vaccine drive one of the top priorities for the Government of Nepal,” said Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, Kikuta Yutaka. “Appropriate vaccine storage is crucial in the vaccine campaign and this grant aims to drastically increase the capacity for storage and distribution of vaccines across the country.”

“We are grateful to Japan for its continued support to Nepal in critical efforts to safely and effectively deliver and store vaccines across the country, particularly at a time when Nepal is battling high numbers of Covid-19 infections during the current wave,” said Elke Wisch, UNICEF Representative in Nepal.

“The cold chain equipment will not only support the vaccination drive but also reinforce critical routine immunization services to protect children against main childhood diseases.”