By Chioma Obinna
A grant of N443 million $2.8 million has been received by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) from the government of Japan to tackle prevention of infectious diseases among Nigerian children.
The grant is for strengthening routine immunisation including the cold chain system. Signing of the corresponding grant agreement took place between Mr Tetsuo Seki, Chief Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Nigeria and Mr Jacques Boyer, Deputy Representative and Officer in Charge, UNICEF Nigeria, took place at the Federal Ministry of Health in the presence of Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu. Although Nigeria is making progress in reducing high child mortality rates, persistent challenges need to be addressed if Nigeria is to achieve the health-related MDGs.
A press statement by UNICEF said:“This year’s contribution from the Government of Japan will be used to procure cold chain equipment such as solar refrigerators to fill existing gaps.
“This will boost routine immunization efforts as well as the drive toward polio eradication, especially in the context of introduction of new vaccines. In addition, the grant will support the operational cost of strategies to reduce the number of un-immunized children.
Deputy Representative and Officer in Charge, UNICEF Nigeria, Mr. Jacques Boyer said Japan’s grant to Nigeria to combat infectious diseases for children has been a significant contribution to Nigeria’s efforts to reduce child mortality.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, Mr Ryuichi Shoji said: “The people of Japan remain committed to the welfare of Nigerian children.