Of the three walk-in Cold Rooms of 30 M3 volume each, two cold rooms have been installed at the central vaccine store in Addis Ababa, and one in Mekele for the Tigray Regional State.
This donation of walk-in Cold Rooms by the WHO to the Ministry of Health will enhance improved vaccine management and storage capacity at Federal and regional levels and assure vaccine potency of millions of vials of vaccines procured for providing routine immunization for 2.6 million children under one against the six vaccine preventable diseases, 6.4 million women of child bearing age against tetanus annually, massive vaccination against polio in rounds of National Polio Eradication Campaign as a response to the wild polio virus importation and containment. The installation of the two cold rooms at the central level will increase vaccine storage capacity at the center by 80%, while the one in Mekele will drastically improve vaccine storage capacity of the region, which hitherto had no clod room facilities.
Besides the donation, for the last one year WHO has contributed an amount of one million Birr to enhance cold chain and vaccine management related activities in routine immunization. A list of such contributions included the rehabilitation of the existing central vaccine cold rooms in Addis Ababa, training of 70 cold chain technicians and EPI drivers in cold chain maintenance, development of five year cold chain rehabilitation plan of the country and procurement of 6,700 vaccine carriers.
Dr. Olusegun Babaniyi, the WHO Representative to Ethiopia, said on the occasion that WHO is committed to the goal of reducing morbidity and mortality due to vaccine preventable diseases. WHO will continue to support the most effective strategies to increase immunization coverage, both through supplemental campaigns and most importantly through the routine immunization program to ensure that children are protected.
In concluding his remarks, Dr. Babaniyi expressed his hope and belief that this donation would play an important role in enhancing vaccine storage capacity and management at national and regional levels