By; Samuel Kirimunda
Health Minister launches distribution cold chain equipment for vaccines. Health Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero has launched the distribution of cold chain equipment for vaccines to be installed across the country.
Dr.Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero flagged off 1,435 refrigerators to be installed in the cities and districts across the country procured at 8.372.560 million US dollars.
Health Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng revealed that; City stores will receive 10 refrigerators, District stores will receive 222 refrigerators for various level facilities, Private not for profit at health centers (III) level will receive 10 refrigerators, Hospitals will receive 50 refrigerators, Private not for profit at different levels will receive 110 refrigerators, Private will receive 24 refrigerators, Public health centers (III) will receive 979 and finally public health centers (IV) will get 28 refrigerators.
It is extremely exciting that we are flagging off the vaccine refrigerators on easing the launch of polio campaign, this demonstrates to you our commitment, Dr. Aceng added.
Aceng said that, in 2016 government carried out a country-wide cold chain assessment with support from development partners i.e. china.
“It is upon this position that the government took a decision that we need to phase out certain vaccine refrigerators and introduce the new ones and consider majorly solar equipment to deal with power shortage in remote areas but also maintain electrical ones in areas of good power supply. To day we are at 89% of our efforts so we barely have only 19% to ensure full coverage because we all participate in immunization”.
Immunization contributes directly to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG III) to ensure health lives and promote well being at all wages, government prioritizes strengthening the health system and introduction of new vaccine.
The journey started in 1997 to improve immunization services through the Uganda National Immunization Program which started under the leadership of National Resistance Movement (NRM).
In addition, the UNICEF representative to Uganda, Safieldin Munir said that in six years Uganda was able to bring down child mortality.
He added that in 2016 child mortality rate was reduced from 151 to 61 and this is remarkable. “Vaccination in Uganda played a big role, we thank the government of Uganda.Today about 8.3 million dollars for equipment were funded by Gavi we are talking about 1311 solar power refrigerators, 129 hangride refrigerators among others; a very remarkable contribution”.