By Jennifer Catan-Tilos
NEGROS ORIENTAL (PIA) — The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines turned over on Feb. 3 a multimillion-peso cold room/vaccine storage facility to the provincial government here.
The facility keeps supplies of vaccines which include BCG for tuberculosis, hepatitis B, pentavalent vaccine, oral polio vaccine, inactivated polio vaccines, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, measles, mumps, and rubella to help address preventable diseases among children in the province.
Gov. Roel Degamo led the ceremonial inauguration of the facility where he expressed his gratitude to UNICEF for allocating more than P6 million worth of cold room/vaccine storage facility to the province.
Degamo said this project enhances the capability and adequate immunization for the people of Negros Oriental.
Health is one of his priority programs and need to have an early detection of diseases because two of his family members succumbed to cancer, he said.
According to UNICEF representative and cold chain specialist Bernardo Bersola, the project is the first fully-operational cold room facility in the Philippines.
“There have been 15 recipients of similar facilities in the country but this is the first turnover of its kind,” said Bersola.
He added that the cold room is equipped with a generator and special freezers with thick insulators and water lining that can withstand power failure for about eight-hours ensuring the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.
A specified range of temperature from point of manufacture to point of use is critical to the effectiveness of any vaccination program.
The brand new cold room facility can accommodate more vaccines from UNICEF’s Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) that targets Oral Polio, Measles-Rubella and Hepatitis B among others in the province. (rmn/jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental/with reports from Churchill Guevarra and Nichole Sison/This article was first published at PIA website on Feb. 4, 2016)