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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Last week we told you that vaccines for 5-11 year-olds, in their appropriate doses, had finally arrived in Belize. Unofficial reports say that in that first week less than 5000 jabs were given for those aged 5-11.

And while uptake has lagged recently, it makes proper storage of these vaccines in adequate ultra cold facilities even more important.

And now, thanks to a donation from UNICEF, G.O.B finally has adequate refrigeration for all those newly arrived doses.

The Ministry received the keys to a brand new vehicle for vaccine transportation, 1 container retrofitted for storing vaccines, cold boxes, and vaccine carriers, 2 AC units, 100 vaccine cold boxes, specialized refrigerators for vaccine storage, and several other items.

Here's a look at the donation ceremony today in Belmopan where the Minister and C.E.O of Health and Wellness received the much-needed, highly specialized equipment:

Dr. Julio Sabido, CEO, Ministry of Health
"To date UNICEF's contribution to primary health care includes vaccine procurement COVID-q9 response, cold-chain response, cold chain support, system strengthening, medical laboratory diagnostics, adolescent health and communication support. This is no easy feat. We have been trying, we have been working together as everyone has said for decades this is only a taste and a sample of what UNICEF and the ministry of health do as collaborative partners."

Jean Gough, Regional Director For Latin America and the Caribbean, UNICEF
"We saw through the COVID that we needed to go back to primary healthcare and make sure that primary healthcare keeps the centre of the work that UNICEF does in this region. So this one for us, being here today is a real pleasure for me because i'm seeing equipment and I will be able to then guarantee and the ministry will be able to guarantee that the vaccine that we give to each of those kids that come for a vaccine is of the quality that is required."

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health
"Vaccines are a critical commodity that requires strict temperature control from the manufacturing company to when the vaccine is administered to an individual."

"At the national vaccine storage facility the storage space has been expanded, the exterior walls are protected from the effects of the weather, the exposure of the cold room to excess dust is significantly reduced, and improved cooling system in the training area and cold room, fence, and generator shed, we received 100 cold boxes and devices for the vaccine temperature control, one vehicle for greater access to rural communities by the vaccination teams and to be received in the coming months are 15 ice line refrigerators and 10 generators for primary healthcare facilities and three walk-in coolers for vaccine storage."

Minister Bernard noted today that quote: "The Covid-19 pandemic had a negative effect on the vaccination coverage in children. We went from 95% coverage in 2019 to 65% in the year 2020. The vaccination coverage is increasing and more work is required to reach the minimum of 95% vaccination coverage." End quote.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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The Government of Belize and UNICEF Belize continue to work towards the improvement and strengthening of healthcare in Belize. Most recently, the Ministry of Health & Wellness received a donation of cold chain equipment and infrastructure, which is critical for the delivery of quality and adequate healthcare to children and families.

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