Nyeri County distributes 60 Coolers for vaccines

AstraZeneca vaccine storage kit at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Nyeri County government will deliver 60 coolers worth Sh30 million to public health centres and dispensaries to boost vaccine storage. 

The cold chain (routine immunization) equipment will be distributed to selected health facilities in eight sub-counties to store vaccines. 

Speaking during the flagging of the equipment at his office, Governor Mutahi Kahiga said: “This marks a significant milestone in our commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of our citizens, particularly our children." 

He noted that the equipment will be used to keep vaccines meant for children. “Immunization plays a pivotal role in safeguarding our communities against preventable diseases and is a cost-effective public health intervention given its impact on reducing morbidity and mortality,” he said. 

Governor Kahiga added that the effectiveness of immunization programs and the availability of cold chain infrastructure to store and transport vaccines will aid in administering vaccines safely. 

The governor said a national inventory survey carried out in 2016 revealed gaps in cold chain equipment availability, prompting a collaboration between the Ministry of Health, the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI), and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

He noted that in response to this in 2019, Kenya was awarded a 3-year GAVI Cold Chain Equipment Optimization Platform (CCEOP) grant to improve cold chain capacity for storage of vaccines in line with the Cold Chain Equipment Expansion and Rehabilitation.

 “Through this program, 1,483 units of cold chain equipment were procured for distribution across the Country.  Nyeri County was a beneficiary of this project,” Kahiga said. 

 “The state-of-the-art cold chain equipment, including refrigerators, freezers, and temperature monitoring devices will boost the existing cold chain equipment capacity to store and distribute vaccines effectively to enhance immunization delivery,” Governor Kahiga said.

He explained that the installation of the equipment will be conducted by Bio-Medical Engineers who were recently trained, and this will be followed by an independent external post-installation evaluation by UNICEF on behalf of GAVI.

Kahiga observed that this investment will promote vaccine equity, reaching unreached and under-immunized children in all 131 public health facilities across the 8 sub-counties.