AT-KABUL: Ministry of Public Health and the UNICEF inaugurated the new regional vaccine storage in Kandahar to provide health facilities for the Immunization Program.
The new building will enable Kandahar health department to provide and enhance the quality immunization services for children and women in 48 districts of Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan, Zabul and Nimorz. This facility is designed and constructed to store vaccines, a warehouse for non-vaccine supplies and cold chain equipment, a big training hall to conduct the health workers and supervisors ‘periodic capacity building, and office for the regional EPI management staff. There are four walk-in cold rooms and additional refrigerators making over 35 cubic meters cold storage capacity, the cold space will be sufficient to store and distribute 12 different vaccines in the immunization program to whole Kandahar Southern Region. The capacity of the cold space will also support the vaccination campaigns of polio, measles and tetanus in addition to routine vaccinations. The immunization program in the region targets 154,456 children under the age of one, and 726,185 women of child-bearing age. Minister of Public Health Ferozuddin Feroz said: “This new vaccine cold storage facility in Kandahar can accommodate the required amount of vaccines under optimal temperature for the five provinces of southern region, which can significantly contribute to reducing maternal and child mortality.” He said that multiple interventions have been planned to eradicate polio, eliminate Measles and Tetanus diseases. More vaccine storage space will meet the requirements of such expansion to ensure the provision of quality immunization services, and increased vaccination coverage and disease control. The UNICEF Field Operations Coordinator Olushola Ismail, said: “Protecting children from vaccine-preventable diseases will greatly reduce child mortality. This new facility is therefore critical to help increase quality vaccination coverage in one of the most deprived regions of the country.” The UNICEF provided financial and technical support to construct and equip the building.