Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (left) inspecting the cold chain facilities.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has taken delivery of vaccine storage facilities to help in the expansion of immunisation services in the country.
The storage facilities including vaccine freezers, vaccine fridges, Ice pack freezers and cold boxes, puts the country in a better position to receive larger quantities of ultra-low Covid-19 vaccines like and Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna which have recently been approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) for use in the country.
The facilities are therefore expected to help accelerate the country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme target of reaching 20 million people by the end of 2021.
Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, at a brief handing over ceremony in Accra, said the cold chain storage facilities were procured by the government at an estimated cost of $8m.
He indicated that the entire consignment comprised 58 ultralow temperature vaccine freezers, 50 normal vaccine fridges, 3000 Ice pack freezers and 300 cold boxes.
He said an additional 18 distribution cold vans are expected to arrive in the coming days to support the nationwide vaccination programme.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu indicated that the freezers were equipped with real time monitoring systems to track performance adding that they also had protection against damage caused by power fluctuations.
“In events where power supply is interrupted, the freezers could maintain their set temperature for at least 10 hours. They are also equipped with systems that uses carbon dioxide or dry ice to maintain the temperature where there is no power or during fault condition,” he stated.
The sector minister pointed out that the fridges and freezers would be deployed to all 16 regions to store the vaccines at the right temperatures.
He disclosed that some Covid-19 vaccines were expected by close of the week with about 1.2 million Pfizer vaccines expected before the end of the month.
The Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye lauded government for the move which he believed would go a longer way to boost healthcare delivery.
“Vaccination is something that will stay with us for a long time so these fridges will go a long way to harness immunization and help in storing new vaccines that will come into the country,” he said.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri