Cold chain equipment an essential component to strengthen immunization in provinces

The acting country representative of the World Health Organisation , Anna Maalsen,  says the vaccine refrigerators and cold chain equipment  will help strengthen  routine immunization services in the provinces,  and ensure high quality  vaccines are available  to all and especially to all children.  Ms Maalsen added, “a  functioning cold chain ensures  that vaccines are stored  safely  and retain their potency  to protect children against diseases such as  measles and polio.”
She added, the equipment would  also  facilitate the successful outreach of the “Sleeves-Up” campaign , launched by Prime Minister, James Marape on Tuesday, 4 May 2021. The campaign focuses on vaccinating  all front line health workers and other essential workers against Covid-19, to ensure they are safe,  protected and  can continue to provide essential services to the rest of the people.

Ms Maalsen  made these remarks at  the handover ceremony  of the vaccine refrigerators and cold chain equipment  to the National Department of Health at the Steamships East West Transport premises, along  Napa Napa, Central province,  on Wednesday 5 May 2021, adding, “this is a significant milestone for Papua New Guinea.” “And to ensure that the vaccines are stored safely  and retain their potency  we  require  equipment like this, in front of us today.”

“The vaccines , all vaccines, not  just the Covid -19 vaccines,  but all our routine immunization, have gone through vigorous clinical trials in  many  countries to make sure    they are safe and  effective.” The delivery of the equipment to Papua New Guinea was made possible  through  GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance and UNICEF.

Ms Maalsen emphasized that  Covid-19 vaccines combined  with Niupela Pasin, like  hand washing, mask wearing physical distancing and avoiding crowds, would help  protect  people  from serious illness and death  if they become infected with Covid19 Meantime,   over 1 billion doses of Covid-19  vaccines have already  been administered to people  all over the world.. The government of Papua New Guinea is  rolling out the AstraZeneca vaccines nation wide  from  today  and all front line health workers and other  essential workers  will be offered the vaccine  first.

“So we encourage you all  to take the vaccine  when it’s your turn . But more importantly ,we must  keep up the routined immunizations. “Papua New Guinea cannot afford  to have lower coverage  than we already have for some of our  routined vaccinations. Measles, polio and many others, are critical  to the success for the   development  of Papua New Guinea , the economy, and for our healthy future,” Ms Maalsen said.

Meanwhile, UNICEF representative, Judith Bruno, emphasised the importance of  maintaining these equipment to ensure the vaccine availability , potency and safety. In addition , the Managing Director of Steamships, Rupert Bray, expressed his  gratitude for being  the logistics partner  for the vaccine rollout  in the country .


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