GHANA—The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has donated US$2 million (24.8 million Ghana cedis) to build a new national vaccine cold room and a national cold chain vaccine management resource center in Korle Bu.

This disclosure was made on Tuesday, February 13, when USAID/Ghana Deputy Mission Director, Grace Lang, joined the Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, to examine the progress of the building.

The new national vaccination cold room builds on previous investments and demonstrates USAID’s ongoing commitment to Ghana’s health sector.

During the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic, the current national vaccine cold room was completely full.

Ghana was able to treble its vaccine delivery capacity thanks to USAID assistance, which included the rental of two specialized cold vehicles.

Delivering vaccinations to all corners of the world is a difficult task that necessitates a series of perfectly synchronized actions in temperature-controlled settings to store, manage, and transport these life-saving products.

Vaccines must be stored at a specific temperature from the time they are produced until they are vaccinated.

This is because excessively hot or low temperatures can cause the vaccination to lose its effectiveness (its capacity to protect against disease), and once a vaccine loses its efficacy, it cannot be retrieved or restored.

Logistics support is essential for immunization services to ensure the availability of appropriate equipment and an adequate supply of high-quality vaccines and immunization-related materials at all levels of the program.

It is critical to ensure the correct implementation of applicable strategies in key areas of logistics support such as vaccine management and monitoring, cold chain management, and immunization safety.

If the logistics programme is well-managed, it can help save money by guaranteeing effective programme implementation without losing service quality.

Poorly managed logistics systems can lead to high and/or unnecessary vaccination waste rates, stockouts, or inappropriate waste disposal, resulting in large operational program costs and a detrimental impact on public health.

Ms. Lang emphasized that this national vaccine cold room will keep Ghana’s routine immunizations at ideal temperatures and provide backup capacity in the event of future pandemics.

She went on to thank UNICEF for technical assistance and the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service for their leadership in the health sector.

According to Ms. Lang, when completed, the cutting-edge building will have two floors, with a cold room on the ground floor and offices and storage space on the first floor, and the ground floor will be capable of housing six walk-in cold freezer rooms.

She concluded by stating that the construction is projected to be completed by June 2024.

The US government is Ghana’s largest bilateral partner, providing over US$140 million in aid in the last year for health, economic growth, agriculture, education, and governance.

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