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Health ministry distributes immunisation equipment to hospitals

By Violet Nabatanzi

Added 26th October 2018 09:32 AM

The programme was supported by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) under health systems strengthening programme phase II together with the Government of Uganda.

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Bjarne Nielsen (C)explaining to Health minister Dr Ruth Aceng and permanent secretary ministry of health Dr Diana Atwine how the cold fridges for storing vaccines works during the launch of cold chain equipment supplied under GAVI, health systems strengthening program phase II, at LMengineering offices in Kireka, Kampala on Tuesday . Photos by Violet Nabatanzi

The programme was supported by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) under health systems strengthening programme phase II together with the Government of Uganda.

Ministry of health has strengthened the immunisation services in the  Government health facilities as it distributes Cold Chain Equipment, which include fridges, freezers, cold boxes and carriers for proper storage of immunisation vaccines and solar panels  worth $2.5m (approximately sh9.4b).

The programme was supported by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) under health systems strengthening programme phase II together with the Government of Uganda.

Speaking during the launch of the Cold Chan Equipment at LM engineering offices in Kireka, health minister Dr Ruth Aceng on Tuesday said all districts will access these equipment including those with low access to immunisation services, newly established facilities and hard to reach areas.

 r ceng examining one of the solar panels which are going to be distributed to government health facilities Dr Aceng examining one of the solar panels which are going to be distributed to government health facilities

 
The Equipment will store 13 types of vaccines for children and women. These include Vaccines against Tuberculosis, polio, measles, HPV and Rotavirus vaccines, among others.

Aceng said, $10.4m (about sh39b) grant was set aside to procure cold chain equipment over a period of five years adding: “The grant aims at addressing storage capacity gaps, replace out-dated equipment and extend cold chain storage to new sites.”

She noted that GAVI will provide $ 8.3m(about sh31b) while Ugandan Government will co-finance $2.1m (about sh7.9b).

“The immunisation programme is currently implementing one year of the Cold Chan Equipment Optimisation Platform (CCEOP) grant adding that it will cost $2.5m (about sh9b) while the second year will cost $5.8m (about sh21b).

At least 608 equipment are expected to be distributed and installed by the end of this month while the second year of the project will increase to 2,500 fridges and freezers.

Aceng appealed to people to use these equipment effectively and increase vaccination coverage in their districts in order to avoid epidemics of vaccine preventable diseases.

Dr Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary ministry of health said the distribution of cold chain equipment to districts is aimed at taking services closer to people. She noted that although Uganda is doing well in immunisation services, some districts like Wakiso are still lagging behind.

Dr Bernard Opar, the programme manager Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization (UNEPI) said health facilities without immunisation equipment will get new equipment and those whose equipment broke-down, will be replaced with new ones.

 ceng flagging off the new cold chain equipment Aceng flagging off the new cold chain equipment

 
Statistics

WHO acknowledges that while Africa has made tremendous progress in improving access to immunisation, most countries are off track to achieving the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) target of 90% national immunisation coverage by 2020. This is because one in five African children still lack access to all the WHO recommended life-saving vaccines, which is a threat not only to the health of fa­milies, but also to the strength of economies and equity in African societies.

According to WHO, every year, more than 30 million children under five fall sick due to vaccine-preventable diseases, and of these, over half a million die. Deaths due to vaccine-preventable diseases account for 58% of global deaths.

A report which tracks immunisation progress and challenges across the continent since the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), titled, “Fulfilling a promise: Ensuring immunisation for all in Africa” rates Uganda’s 2014 diptheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3) coverage at 78% compared to Democratic Republic of Congo at 80%, Kenya at 81%, Tanzania at 97% and Rwanda’s 99%.

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