THE United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) recently turned over to the Cebu Provincial Government a P6-million cold storage facility for vaccines.
The facility is located within the Capitol compound near the Provincial Information Office.
The building was constructed by Unicef carpenters from China in less than a week.
Department of Health (DOH) 7 Director Jaime Bernadas thanked Unicef for the donation.
Gov. Hilario Davide III said providing vaccines to children immediately in times of emergency will save lives.
The cold storage preserves living microorganisms and bacteria, which are important to make the vaccines effective.
According to Bernadas, the facility addresses what he described as gaps in the system concerning adequate and appropriate handling of vaccines, including transporting them from the place where these are procured to the rural health units or other final destinations.
Medical authorities said that at all times, vaccines must be kept under a controlled temperature to prevent destruction and to preserve its efficacy.
During the turnover ceremony, Dr. Cynthia Genesolango, provincial health officer, read the message of Unicef country representative Bernie Bersola, who could not attend.
According to Bersola’s message, Unicef will always be around to assist local government units (LGUs) with their health needs, especially those that concern children.
The DOH 7 has distributed ice-lined refrigerators, also for vaccine storage, to 31 LGUs in Cebu Province.