The Government of Japan, working through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), gave Ghana 30 ultra-low freezers with the combined capacity to hold between 500 and 850 litres of vaccines each. The freezers are expected to boost Ghana’s COVID-19 response by augmenting existing facilities for storing vaccines that need to be preserved at ultra low temperatures. Worth about $1 million, the freezers will be distributed to twelve regional health directorates, five teaching hospitals, 10 regional hospitals, two quasi-government hospitals and one private hospital.

The Ambassador of Japan to Ghana H.E. Tsutomu Himeno said the assistance would help improve the health of Ghanaians and noted that while health care was important, prevention of disease was even more important. “It is important we prevent the citizens from contracting the virus any further and we have to prevent this at all cost,” Ambassador Himeno said.

UNICEF Ghana Representative Anne-Claire Dufay commended the Ghana government for its unrelenting efforts to ensure that at least 20 million persons were fully vaccinated. “As more people in Ghana are vaccinated, there is greater opportunity for everyday life to return to normal, for children to learn and play more easily and for health systems to no longer be overwhelmed,” she added. Representative Dufay commended the Government of Japan for its immense contribution to Ghana’s health system, including the area of nutrition.

The Ghana government is expected to receive four-million vaccine doses, of which 3.5 million would be Pfizer vaccines that require ultra-low cold temperature freezers for storage. The Director General of Ghana Health Service (GHS) Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye thanked the Government of Japan and UNICEF for the support and assured them that the freezers would be used diligently to save lives. “We see the presentation of these ultra-low temperature freezers as critical in ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccines to Ghanaians,” Dr. Kuma-Aboagye said.