The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has donated 16 vaccine refrigerator trucks and a walk-in cold room with a power generator to the Ministry of Health to strengthen Ghana’s immunisation programme.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the Chief Representative for JICA, Madam Suzuki Momoko, said the refrigerator trucks would offer MoH and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) additional cold-chain inputs to facilitate the timely distribution and access to high-quality routine and emergency vaccines across the country.
She noted that the walk-in cold room would complement existing vaccine storage facilities to bridge access inequities to quality routine vaccines in the Northern belt and beyond.
“The support is expected to strengthen universal access to all relevant vaccines for all population and more especially children against common vaccine-preventable diseases and thus help reduce infant and child morbidity and mortality,” she added.
She said the support would help improve the distribution and storage of relevant vaccines, especially in the hard-to-reach areas of the country.
The Minister for Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, appreciated the Japanese government’s ongoing assistance in boosting Ghana’s healthcare system.
“As a country, we have benefitted from the long and successful relationship with the Government of Japan, which dates back several years through Technical Assistance, Grant Aid and donation of equipment and commodities. Additionally, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), various initiatives related to improving the health of Ghanaians continue to be implemented,” he noted.
He said MoH was keen to pursue the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda to ensure that, “All people in Ghana have timely access to high-quality health services irrespective of ability to pay at the point of use.”
UHC also aims to increase access to quality essential health care and public health services by 2030.
“We therefore emphasise the importance of all these investments from the Government of Japan towards accelerating implementation and attainment of our Universal health goals, especially in improving access to quality health services in Ghana,” he added.
The 16 vaccine refrigerator trucks and walk-in cold room with a power generator are estimated at 217 million Japanese Yen (equivalent to 1.98 million- US dollars).
Grace Acheampong, ISD