Facilities to access solar freezers

Health secretary Dr Osborne Liko (right) talking with Unicef and Health Department staff during the presentation of the solar vaccine refrigerators in Port Moresby yesterday. – Nationalpic by JOEL HAMARI

RURAL and urban health facilities in the 22 provinces without electricity will now have solar powered vaccine refrigerators, thanks to Gavi – vaccine alliance and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef).
In an event held at the premises of the roll-out partner Steamships East-West Transport in Port Moresby yesterday, 224 solar vaccine refrigerators and freezers that will help strengthen, improve and sustain the cold chain system of the country’s immunisation programme were presented to the Government. This assistance is part of a larger support initiated last year by Gavi at a cost of K14 million that involved the provision of 647 cold chain equipment (CCE) to help boost the country’s cold chain capacity for safe storage of vaccines.
Minister of Health and HIV/AIDS Jelta Wong said the delivery of these equipment was a huge step in managing the vaccines effectively and efficiently.
“Vaccines will be available for all especially for the people in the rural areas where power supply is often unreliable,” he said.
“As we continue to prioritise the health and development of every child in PNG we must ensure that they receive the essential lifesaving vaccines that will protect them against all childhood diseases.
“This cold chain works really well for PNG (and) it would be used to store the Covid-19 vaccines.”
Wong urged the Health Department, authorities and facilities to take responsibility of the ongoing routine immunisation, maintenance and sustainability of the equipment.