With support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) donates 77 solar-powered refrigerators to the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation to “strengthen the cold chain system of the country’s Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) and reduce infant and under-five mortality rates in Sierra Leone.”
According to a joint press release, the 77 solar-powered refrigerators will be distributed to Peripheral Health Units (PHU) across the country. The Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr. Augustine Demby said, “This donation helps to ensure the provision of consistent and reliable power which holds great potential to expand and improve health care delivery in Sierra Leone. I want to sincerely appreciate USAID and UNICEF for the good gesture.” The 77 solar-powered refrigerators “will provide conducive storage facilities for essential lifesaving vaccines and enhance the productivity and efficiency of health workers in providing adequate health care support to under-five children, especially those living in hard-to-reach areas in the country.”
The US Government is proud to partner with UNICEF to help store and bring vaccines – both COVID-19 and childhood vaccines – to the people of Sierra Leone. Together we can save lives.Mr. David Reimer, US Ambassador to Sierra Leone.
In 2020 December, Sierra Leone recorded the first known cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2). Today, the country has recorded a total of 14 cVDPV2 cases confirmed in the country.
UNICEF will ensure the transportation and installation of this equipment to various health facilities in the country and ensure that technicians and users are trained on preventive maintenance and management.UNICEF