New Delhi : In a symbolic handover today, the Government of Bihar has received the first tranche of the cold chain equipment (CCE) procured by UNICEF as part of the Government of Japan assistance to the COVID-19 vaccination drive across India. The first tranche comprises of around twenty thousand vaccine carriers.
Mr. Mangal Pandey, Hon’ble Health Minister, Government of Bihar on receiving the vaccine carriers from Mr. Yasumasa Kimura, Deputy Representative, UNICEF India, said, “We are grateful to the Government of Japan for coming forward to support Bihar with Cold Chain Equipment through UNICEF. The Government of Bihar is committed to fighting Covid-19 and making all efforts to meet the target of `60 million vaccination in 6 months.’ The CCE will augment the state’s vaccination capacity, both for COVID-19 vaccination as well as routine immunization for children and women”
H. E. Mr. Suzuki Satoshi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Government of Japan to India and Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India Representative virtually joined the event. Mr. Pratyaya Amrit, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Health, Government of Bihar,and Ms. Nafisa Binte Shafique, Chief, UNICEF Bihar along with senior officials from the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Biharand UNICEF were present at the event in Patna.
The Bihar government will receive 100,000 freeze-free vaccine carriers, two Walk-In Coolers, Three Walk-In Freezers, 20 cold chain equipment repair and maintenance toolkits and 2100 Freeze Tags- a vaccine Freeze Prevention Monitoring device as part of the overall 9.3 million US dollars assistance announced by the Government of Japan to support India’s response to COVID-19 pandemic.
His Excellency Mr. Satoshi Suzuki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to India, said, “I would like to express my sincere hope that our joint efforts in the healthcare sector will help overcome the devastating impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will serve to elevate our relationship to even greater heights.”
Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India Representative said, “The generous support from the Government of Japan to India through UNICEF comes at the right time when the country is moving rapidly towards vaccinating its population,especially the most vulnerable, against COVID-19. With more than 81 crore doses already administered across India, the COVID-19 vaccination will help in restoring normalcy and safe resumption of critical services in the country.”
The Government of Japan funding is being invested to procure cold chain equipment to reinforce critical capacity of cold chain system at all levels for an effective COVID-19 vaccination drive as well as to strengthen routine immunization for women and children in the long term. This will include procurement and distribution of Walk In Coolers, Walk In Freezers, Solar Direct Drives, Freeze Free Vaccine Carriers, Toolkits, freeze tags and Voltage Stabilizers, that are part of the cold chain system and will support the vaccination drive in 25 states.