Ministry of Health together with its partners has submitted a 5-year cold chain equipment optimization platform (CCEOP) support application to Gavi – the vaccine alliance in order to strengthen supply chain and improve coverage and equity.
Approval for the grant was received in March 2017 for the first two years (2017/18).
According to Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, the grant aims to procure cold chain equipment (fridges, freezers, cold boxes and carriers etc.) over a 5-year period in order to address storage capacity gaps, replace obsolete equipment and extend cold chain storage to new sites.
She noted that “A total expenditure of 10.4 million will be used to fund this grant. Of this, Gavi will provide 8.3 million USD while Government of Uganda will co-finance 2.1 million USD.”
An operational deployment plan was developed which showed sites due to receive equipment including districts with low access to immunization services, newly established facilities and hard to reach areas.
She also noted that all districts of Uganda will benefit.
The Minister added that immunization program is currently implementing year one of the CCEOP grant and planning for year two support.
“The first year that I am launching today amounts to 2.5 million USD, the second year will cost 5.8 million USD,” she said.
“The year one equipment numbering 608 is in-country ready for distribution and installation by end of October. In year two we expect to deploy up to 2,500 fridges and freezers, for which a deployment plan is being developed currently.”
She noted that the Central, Regional and selected district cold chain technician teams had their orientation training completed yesterday.
The minister asked the districts to “use this equipment effectively.”
“Make use of them to increase vaccination coverage in your districts in order to avoid epidemics of vaccine preventable diseases.”
She added that the ministry received reports of some misuse and theft of EPI items and they have made efforts to add new feature of those pieces of equipment that should help districts optimize their use and keep them safe.
These include: Oxytocin boxes- to help improve maternal survival, manufacturer coded equipment and solar panels coded with (Not for sale – GOU property).