The Health Development Fund (HDF) which is managed by UNICEF donated 968 Solar Direct Driven refrigerators and 134 Oxygen Concentrators to the Ministry of Health and Child Care yesterday in the capital.
UNICEF Representative, Amina Mahomed who was standing in for Laylee Moshiri in her speech said the equipment donated will uplift the country’s health delivery system.
“I am very pleased to say a few words today as we witness the handover of critical life saving equipment, which will go a long way in ensuring access to quality healthcare for all Zimbabweans, particularly during these challenging times we are fighting the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mahomed.
Mahomed praised the country’s leadership for quickly coming up with a COVID-19 Response Plan.
“I would like to comment the Government of Zimbabwe’s leadership in guiding the National COVID-19 Response Plan. As UNICEF, we are strongly behind you in these efforts,” said the UNICEF Representative.
Mahomed pointed that these refrigerators which are solar powered will not be affected by power outages and will go a long way in delivering the immunisation programme across the country.
“These refrigerators will provide a green solution to such challenges, ensuring that the Expanded Programme on Immunisation reaches the last mile,” said Mahomed.
In his acceptance speech, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro expressed his gratitude for this timely donation.
“It is an honour for me to receive this consignment of Cold Chain Equipment on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Child Care and on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe. The consignment consists of 968 units of Solar Direct Driven (SDD) refrigerators worth $3,444,828.15m,” said Dr Mangwiro.
In order to discharge an effective Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), there is need to provide adequate refrigeration facilities for the vaccines to be useful.
“The EPI is the arm of Government responsible for preventing morbidity and mortality from vaccine preventable diseases in the country. The programme requires, among other things, continuous investments in cold chain equipment and capacity building at all levels of the health delivery system to maintain the potency of vaccines throughout the vaccine supply chain,” said the Deputy Minister of Health.
Dr Mangwiro highly appreciated the SDD technology for being a clean energy source which also reduces power charges, but delivering a world class cold chain solution.
“This new technology will reduce operational costs related to electricity and LP gas consumption. It eliminates the challenges posed by frequent and prolonged power outages. This means our health centres are now assured of reliable cold chain equipment in line with our focus on equity in access to quality health services,” said Dr Mangwiro.
The occasion was also graced by WHO Representative, Dr Alex Gasasira, MoHCC Acting Chief Director for Preventive Services, Dr C Tshuma, MoHCC Acting Director for Nursing, Dr Lillian Dodzo, Ministry of Health officials and United Nations family staff.
The HDF is funded by the following donors United Kingdom (DFID), European Union, Sida-Sweden, Irish Aid and the Global Vaccines Alliance (Gavi).