Aiming for vaccines to reach everybody, everywhere: JICA turns over equipment for cold chain and logistics to DOH
The Covid-19 pandemic showed that governments must act fast and sure to curb social and economic losses. Delays in vaccine rollouts, for example, may lead to wider spread and serious loss of life.
But the pandemic also taught many countries that they can all choose to prevent such scenario.
On October 23, 2023, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) officially turned over 8 refrigerated vans, 17 delivery vans, 17 pickup trucks, 18 wing van trucks, 500 biothermal packaging systems and 140 ice pack freezers, amounting approximately JPY 700 million which is equivalent to approximately PHP 260 million, to the Department of Health (DOH) as part of its Programme for Covid-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support. This cooperation aims to strengthen the Philippines’ cold chain management and logistics for efficient vaccination system in cases of outbreaks.
“JICA is always in solidarity with the Philippines especially in facing crisis such as Covid-19. Our cold chain and logistics support in the vaccine rollout and delivery even to the remotest areas aims to ensure that no one is left behind. JICA has already provided Filipino friends with various useful equipment from Japan for the same purpose, and I’m pleased to add our further support today,” said JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema. “Our lesson from Covid-19 is that safe and effective vaccinations in record time boosts the population’s resilience, and stimulates economic activities,” added SAKAMOTO.
The refrigerated vans, delivery vans, pickup trucks, wing van trucks, biothermal packaging systems and ice pack freezers from JICA will be deployed in various health facilities of DOH nationwide.
JICA has supported the Philippines earlier on in the Covid-19 pandemic by providing various useful equipment. The first batch of cold chain equipment amounting to JPY 200 million was turned over to DOH last November 2022. The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and San Lazaro Hospital received JPY 125 million worth of medical equipment and supplies from JICA. Furthermore, JICA likewise extended JPY 80 billion Covid-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan and JPY 50 billion Post Disaster Standby Loan.