UNICEF and Gavi hand over refrigerated trucks to MoHP

Kathmandu, 19 Feb: UNICEF and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, on Friday, handed over four refrigerated trucks for vaccine transportation to the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP).

Participating in the handover ceremony were Dr Sangeeta Kaushal Mishra, Director General, Department of Health Services; Ms Temidayo Ogunrinu, Senior Country Manager for Nepal, Gavi; Ms Jee Hyun Rah, UNICEF Deputy Representative, and other officials from the government, Gavi and UNICEF.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Gavi and UNICEF for this timely delivery of refrigerator trucks, which will definitely help in the upcoming MR [measles and rubella] campaign,” said Dr Mishra. The trucks will assist the government in reaching zero-dose children, a population currently estimated at 4 per cent according to the recent Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, she added.

The refrigerated trucks will ensure safe delivery of essential vaccines from federal vaccine storage facilities to provincial and district vaccine stores. The delivery of these trucks is also timely, with the government’s upcoming measles and rubella (MR) “The Big Catch-up” vaccination campaign, especially targeting children who have not yet received any vaccines, also known as ‘zero-dose’ children, and those who have not completed their doses as per the national vaccination schedule.

The integrated campaign will also provide other vaccines children may have missed out during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as Pentavalent, Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV).

 “Today’s delivery underscores the importance of investing in infrastructure and supply chain management, with vaccine transportation a key part of ensuring life saving vaccines stay at appropriate temperatures and can be effectively delivered to communities. Gavi is committed to supporting these efforts in collaboration with our Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO,” said Ms Temidayo Ogunrinu, Senior Country Manager for Nepal

In addition to the provision of the trucks, UNICEF, with Gavi support, is collaborating with the government to strengthen various aspects of the national immunization programme, including procurement of vaccines, improving the cold chain system and enhancing capacities for safe delivery of vaccines to the communities.