Japan and UNICEF provide cold storage for public health sector

Santo Domingo – The Government of Japan and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) provided the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS) with two refrigerators and freezers and all necessary accessories, mechanical and electrical equipment, with the aim of expanding vaccine storage capacity, Thereby strengthening the cold chain in the Dominican Republic. Invested $830,342.47.

The two cold rooms will be installed within the Department of Vaccines and Immunization (DIV). The donation included 243 refrigerators, which were distributed across the country to facilitate access to vaccines and immunizations for the general public, especially children.

The award ceremony was officiated by Masahiro Takagi, Ambassador of Japan to the Dominican Republic, Dr. Daniel Rivera, Minister of Health, Anyoli Sanabria, Deputy UNICEF Representative, and Dr. Ida Lucia Vargas, Director of the Vaccine Preventable Diseases Agency (DIV).

Public Health Secretary Dr. Daniel Rivera thanked the Japanese government and UNICEF for their donations, saying “this cold room and the equipment found here will not only be used to produce vaccines against COVID-19, but will also leave more routine The installed capacity of the entire immunization program in the plan, which helps get biologics safe and free to every girl and boy in this country.” Video with these statements: https://wetransfer.com/downloads/60d13ff7a1c5ebd00272eb6a5430376820230905201611/ ffc6d0

He also announced that the Ministry of Health will build a warehouse in the province of Azua, where the project’s second cold room will be installed.

Masahiro Takagi, Japan’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic, said: “For Japanese society, this represents a social commitment to help other countries realize their potential, especially when it comes to the health of the most vulnerable.

We seek to expand the capacity of routine vaccinations to benefit and protect Dominican infants from immunization-preventable diseases”. Video containing these statements https://we.tl/t-7jorHAl7S1

UNICEF Deputy Representative Anoli Sanabria said: “Through this strategic alliance, we are collaborating to increase vaccination rates and close the existing vaccination gap across the country. We are deeply grateful to Japan and the Dominican Republic Governments place their trust in UNICEF as we work together in immunization campaigns around the world, recognizing that vaccinated children have a greater chance of surviving, developing and doing better in school, which contributes to their benefits in the advancement of lives and communities”. Video https://we.tl/t-hPkFl0p1LZ containing these statements.

cold room

The two units consist of 88 SureChill brand refrigerators with a net storage capacity of 72.5 liters, 110 Vestfrost 98 liter capacity refrigerators, 45 Vestfrost 145 liter capacity refrigerators, 30 RTMS or remote temperature monitors for the refrigerators and cold rooms and 50 with a capacity of 22.5 liters to transport biological agents during vaccination.

The Vaccines Preventive Diseases Agency (DIV) has distributed refrigerators and other cold chain equipment to all provincial bureaux and health departments in the Ministry, as well as the National Health Service (SNS) and its national network of providers, which will enable them to properly store vaccines , and ensure their optimal temperature.

This collaboration includes training managers, technicians and health personnel in the use and maintenance of the above-mentioned equipment; within the framework of this contribution, two Toyota Land Cruisers are included, which are ) guidelines; these vehicles have an interior temperature range of +2°C – +8°C (the temperature range at which most vaccines are stored) and act as mobile cold rooms.

The event was attended by Dr. Miguel Rodríguez Viñas, Undersecretary for Health Sector Strengthening and Development of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, as well as other department heads and managers of the Ministry.

The importance of vaccines

Immunization is the process by which a person develops resistance to disease through exposure to certain diseases or through vaccination.

Vaccines also stimulate the body’s immune system to protect a person from infection or disease. Immunization protects against vaccine-preventable diseases such as cervical cancer, polio, measles, rubella, mumps, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis A and B, pneumonia infection, rotavirus diarrheal disease, and Bacterial meningitis.

cold chain

The “cold chain” is the logistical process of storage, preservation, handling and distribution of immunological biological products, the purpose of which is to ensure that they are kept within a specified temperature range so that they do not lose their immunity to ensure maintenance. Immunological potency from its manufacture to administration. Having managed the cold chain for over 40 years, the Dominican Republic knows that temperatures must remain within the limits prescribed for each vaccine, as the effectiveness and safety of immunizations depends on this. Different vaccines have different sensitivities to heat.

Vaccination status in Latin America and the Caribbean

Data from Latin America and the Caribbean show that 3.9 percent of children in the richest decile have not been vaccinated, compared with 11.6 percent in the poorest decile, reflecting this gap. Regional vaccination rates have generally declined.

According to the latest estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, Latin America and the Caribbean is still far from universal coverage despite reaching more babies in 2022 compared with the previous year (2021). long way to go. .

In the Dominican nation, work is underway to ensure that the population continues to complete its routinely scheduled vaccination program, which, like the rest of the world, has fallen behind due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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