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Northern Ghana’s Medical Stores Enhance Vaccine Storage Capacity with JICA Assistance

Managers of the Medical Stores in Northern Ghana have announced a significant boost in their vaccine storage capacity, thanks to support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Previously faced with challenges of insufficient storage space, the facility can now adequately store vaccines for not only the Northern Region but also for five additional regions if needed.

According to Fuseini Abdulai, the Technical Officer overseeing Disease Control at the Northern Regional Medical Stores, the facility’s outdated walk-in cold rooms, installed in 2001, were no longer functional, leading to frequent stock transfer issues and emergency supply calls to districts. However, with the recent aid from JICA, the Medical Stores have received two new walk-in cold rooms along with a power generator, ensuring a resilient public health system.

Abdulai emphasized the significance of this support, stating that after the national storage, their facility now ranks second in terms of storage capacity. This enhancement enables them to efficiently store vaccines for regions including North-East, Savanna, and others, thus bridging access inequalities to quality routine vaccines in the Northern belt and beyond.

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Senior representative Oda Ryotaro from JICA-Ghana expressed optimism that these cold rooms would complement existing storage facilities and improve access to immunization services. Dr. Elias K Sory, former Director-General of Health, highlighted the importance of providing resources to operate the cold rooms efficiently, urging the Ministry of Health Services to exempt public health facilities from utility payments.

Dr. Abukari Abdulai, Northern Regional Director of Health Services, conveyed gratitude to JICA for their invaluable support in strengthening the region’s healthcare infrastructure.

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