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Nigeria to benefit from Japan’s $39m funding for COVID-19 vaccine cold chains

The government of Japan has announced that it will provide approximately $39 million in emergency funds for the development of vaccine cold chains in Nigeria and 31 other countries in Africa and Latin America affected by COVID-19.

The funds will be given to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It complements the work of the COVAX

Facility, an international vaccine procurement mechanism working to ensure that people in all countries have quick and equitable access to vaccines.

UNICEF, in a statement on Monday, said it would work with the Nigerian government to provide cold chain equipment in priority storage sites based on gap analyses to improve storage capacity for vaccines and facilitate monitoring of the vaccine potency.

The Fund informed that a walk-in freezer room will be installed in six selected states. This, it said, includes solar vaccine refrigerators to be installed in 175 wards that have a gap in vaccine storage capacity.

The Fund added that temperature monitoring devices will be installed across 18 state cold stores, and technical assistance will be provided to carry out the setting-up and maintenance of the equipment and devices.

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“These supplies will ensure the quality of the vaccines. It has a far-reaching impact on the overall goal of the COVID-19 prevention strategy in the country through vaccination, as well as the entire immunization program for child survival,” the statement read.

Rushnan Murtaza, officer in charge, representative, UNICEF Nigeria, said, “We welcome the generous support of the Government and the people of Japan to Nigeria, as we continue to grapple with the impact of COVID-19.

“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, 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.”

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