Japan and the UNICEF have commended Sri Lanka’s speedy and successful rollout of vaccines against COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health yesterday received the second batch of cold chain equipment procured by UNICEF with funding from the Government of Japan to strengthen Sri Lanka’s delivery of immunization services, including against COVID-19.
The second batch includes 750 vaccine carriers, 300 cold boxes, 100 Ice-Lined Refrigerators (ILRs), 145 fridge temperature monitors and Android Tablets for effective management of vaccines.
The items were handed over to Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella by Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka Akira Sugiyama and Representative of UNICEF Sri Lanka Christian Skoog.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Minister Rambukwella said, immunization is a key pillar of the healthcare system in Sri Lanka to protect the people from vaccine preventable diseases and the equipment from the Government of Japan are a crucial input to strengthen the delivery of vaccinations.
The Health Minister also acknowledged the support extended by Japan to Sri Lanka in many aspects over the years.
Ambassador Sugiyama said Japan has provided approximately 1.45 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Sri Lanka through the COVAX Facility and he believes that the provision of vaccines and cold chain equipment will further accelerate the vaccination programme in Sri Lanka and contribute to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.
Representative Christian Skoog said UNICEF, together with partners will continue to support Sri Lanka’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the overall immunization capacity, including to receive, store and implement vaccinations not only against COVID-19 but also other vaccine preventable diseases.