UNICEF hands over cold chain vehicles and equipment to the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation



UNICEF hands over cold chain vehicles and equipment to the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation

In order to strengthen the cold chain system of the country’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Sierra Leone, with the support of GAVI, today handed over two vehicles and cold chain equipment at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

The two vehicles will be used to strengthen the national management and supervision function of the EPI program through regular monitoring and supervision visits at the service delivery level. The vehicles will also support other essential elements of effective health care delivery, including surveillance, logistics, and improve outreach programs to reach children with essential services.

Cold chain equipment, which includes 11 sets of larger solar refrigerators, each with a storage capacity of 220 liters and which will support the establishment of district vaccine stores in Falaba and Kerene, 171 sets of solar refrigerators to be installed in health facilities across the country and 260 coolers, will help ensure that vaccines remain potent and effective at all levels.

“The pandemic has reduced routine immunization coverage rates, putting children at greater risk. We appreciate UNICEF’s contribution to strengthening immunization coverage to increase childhood immunity levels in Sierra Leone, ”said Dr Austin Demby, Minister of Health and Sanitation.

Handover of cold chain vehicles and equipment is timely as in December the country reported the first known cases of circulating vaccine-derived type 2 poliovirus (cVDPV2). At present, there are a total of 14 confirmed cases of cVDPV2 in the country.

According to data collected and released in 2020 by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Gavi and the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the provision of routine immunization services has been significantly hampered globally by the epidemic of COVID-19. The healthcare delivery system is overloaded, responding to the current outbreak of COVID-19, while some children have gone back on their immunization schedules as some parents have not been able to leave home due to movement restrictions , for a lack of information or because they fear being infected with the COVID -19 virus.

“It remains very important for children and babies to keep their immunizations up to date, even during this time when we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said UNICEF Representative Dr Suleiman Braimoh. “Immunization is essential to protect our children and build safer communities free from harmful vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, measles and tetanus.”

Donated cold chain vehicles and equipment will be immensely useful as the country plans to conduct a series of immunization campaigns in 2021, including a new oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2) campaign in response to the polio epidemic, routine vaccination catch-up campaign, human papillomavirus (HPV) catch-up campaign and deployment of the COVId-19 vaccine.

With support from GAVI, UNICEF worked to provide continued support to Sierra Leone’s EPI program, including strengthening effective vaccine management practices, engaging communities to create demand for vaccines, providing refrigerators solar panels for vaccine storage and purchasing and delivering vaccines, including peak COVID-19 period, when most airlines were not operating.

Short Link:


NNN: :is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor @

District in China closes schools over COVID-19 resurgence Supporters Club hails Ndidi, Iheanacho for FA Cup glory Gales, hail batter thousands in China’s Jiangxi Ogun Housing Initiative Addressing Growing Deficit Britain confident jabs work against Indian variant Rwandan President praises new mindset for African football Nigeria reports 41 new COVID-19 infections COVID-19: Berlusconi back out of hospital after a week 592 presidential candidates emerge in Iran Basketball Africa League 2021: in numbers Paediatrician explains why some babies cry at night Pope denounces child abuse as ‘psychological murder’ Coronavirus – Kenya: COVID-19 update (May 15, 2021) Police arrest 16 suspects over cultism in Enugu Spy thriller “Cliff Walkers” continues leading China box office COVID-19 Vaccine: NPHCDA inoculates 1.8m so far UN’s Guterres ‘dismayed’ by civilian casualties in Gaza standoff Egypt begins expansion of Suez Canal’s southern stretch Coronavirus – Zimbabwe: COVID-19 update (May 15, 2021) Campenaerts 7th after an impressive breakaway effort on stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia Biden discusses Gaza conflict with Israeli, Palestinian leaders Gov. Buni for grants financial autonomy to judiciary in Yobe Egypt to host inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League finals NOUN VC urges 17,804 matriculating students to be studious, courageous Navy releases list of successful candidates for Basic Training School  Flood: Gov. Yahaya warns residents against dumping refuse in drainages FG reiterates commitment to restore mangrove in Ogoniland Arsenal owner rejects bid from Spotify to take over club Abia govt. reiterates commitment to ban open grazing of cattle COVID-19: Bauchi receives 2nd jab of Astrazeneca vaccine Foundation to establish healthcare, skill acquisition centres for PWDs Clark cautions against calls for Nigeria’s breakup International Day of Families: Tallen challenges parents on upbringing, vices JAMB extends 2021 examination amidst registration challenges Buhari advocates stronger Nigeria-Turkish ties Buhari departs for Paris on Sunday Buhari salutes Obi of Onitsha at 80 NSCDC nabs suspected cult members in Ilorin Ethiopia postpones planned elections indefinitely Tambuwal urges youths not to be discouraged by current challenges CAF Confederation Cup: Enyimba Chairman, Anyansi-Agwu, optimistic of victory in Egypt NAFDAC destroys harmful products worth N516m in Northeast Coronavirus: African Union member states report COVID-19 cases as of May 15, 2021, 9 a.m. ET NSCDC recovers stolen vehicle in Ebonyi Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (May 14, 2021) Assessing Aisha Buhari passion for the less-privileged Coronavirus – Namibia: COVID-19 update (May 14, 2021) Coronavirus – Zambia: Daily Status Update of COVID-19 Statistics (May 14, 2021) Coronavirus – Nigeria: COVID-19 case update (May 14, 2021) Group tasks Nigerians on philanthropy