USAID and UNICEF support the Ministry of Health to strengthen its National Cold Chain Capacity and scale-up ongoing Immunization Programmes
04 April 2022
365 Refrigerators and Freezers were delivered to Armenia
YEREVAN, 4 April, 2022 – In an effort to strengthen Armenia’s National Cold Chain Capacity and boost COVID-19 immunization programmes, UNICEF, with USAID-funding, procured 80 refrigerators and 285 freezers. These refrigerators and freezers will be distributed to 250 primary health care facilities across Armenia, enhancing availability of vaccines for all communities. The freezers will ensure vaccines and other medical products are properly stored at temperatures of -15˚C to -25˚C, while the refrigerators can accommodate a storage capacity of 98 liters - approximately 8,000 - 10,000 vials of vaccines.
Emphasizing the importance of cold chain capacity, USAID/Armenia Mission Director, John G. Allelo stated, “Cold chain is the backbone of all vaccination programmes. Ensuring strong cold chain capacity across the country will enable Armenia to rapidly scale up vaccinations, which will move us one step closer to putting an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We have had a very fruitful partnership with UNICEF and USAID through all of the difficulties over the past two years with COVID-19, and we look forward to continuing to work together. These refrigerators and freezers are a testament to USAID’s and UNICEF’s dedication to ensuring vaccination for all. With these refrigerators and freezers, we hope to provide access to vaccines even in the most remote areas of Armenia,” said Lena Nanushyan, First Deputy Minister of Health.
With USAID funding, UNICEF has also raised awareness of the public on how to protect themselves from infection, as well as launched training of 4,000 vaccine managers and healthcare workers from primary healthcare facilities in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and regional health authorities.
“Strengthening Armenia’s cold chain capacity will allow health workers to deliver life-saving vaccines to every last community across the country. UNICEF hopes that this will help scale up COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as contribute to strengthening overall cold chain for routine immunization,” noted Christine Weigand, UNICEF Representative in Armenia. “Working together to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and routine immunization is a critical pathway to ensure children have access to the health, education and protection services they need to help their lives get back to normal again.”
To further support Armenia’s vaccine readiness and deployment, USAID and UNICEF, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, NCDC, and regional health authorities, will continue implementing awareness raising campaigns to reduce transmission and train an additional 900 vaccine managers and healthcare workers.
Additionally, in support of the Ministry’s efforts to combat COVID-19 through awareness raising and vaccination programmes, UNICEF with USAID funding plans to deliver and install three cold rooms, an additional 210 freezers (including 5 ultracold freezers), and 110 additional refrigerators in the coming months.