Through the financial support of Rotary International, five cold rooms; four for Adama and one for the Gambella Region were officially delivered on Saturday, December 31, 2016 at a ceremony held at the Pharmaceuticals Fund and Supply Agency (PFSA) office and storage facility located in Adama Town.
During the ceremony, attended by the State Minister of Health Dr. Kebede Worku, representatives of Rotary, UNICEF, WHO and other agencies, the cold rooms, worth USD 200,000 were officially delivered.
Speaking at the event, the State Minister underlined the importance of having a nationwide chain of cold
stores to safely and effectively deliver medicines and vaccines to the people who need them.
“The Ministry of Health along with other partners has been carrying out regularly vaccination programs making it possible to reduce maternal and child fatalities. This program has been one of the reasons we have met the Millennium Development Goals ahead of time. Through the expansion of health facilities, we have been able to provide vaccinations to all corners of the country. One of the key ingredients of this success is the availability of cold store chains enabling the vaccines to be handled appropriately until they reach the end users,” Dr. Kebede said.
Last year, when the storage and cold room facility, located within the Adama branch office of the Pharmaceuticals Fund and Supply Agency was completely damaged due to faulty electrical lines, vaccines and medicines worth 105 million birr were lost and damages to the facility were estimated to be 129 million birr.
Through the donation made by different partners including Rotary International, the storage and cold rooms have been returned to their previous state and have resumed service.
“Rotary has contributed immensely to the fight against polio through coordination and advocacy, they have been our long term partners in this,” Dr. Kebede added, in appreciation of the organization’s support.
Speaking on her part, Teguest Yilma, the Vice Chair of the National Polio Plus Committee, thanked the Ministry of Health for its guidance and support in helping Rotary International procure the five cold rooms.
“As the need for the cold rooms was identified at the ICC – Inter Coordinating Committee meeting, Rotary International reacted positively and routed the procurement procedure to none other than UNICEF, one of the Polio Eradication Initiatives’ major partners,” Teguest said.
She further praised the commitment and dedication of Rotary International and its work in Ethiopia.
“Being a Rotarian means working hard to give back to your community. Even though members focus on service projects in their local clubs, their collective efforts for social change are felt internationally. Rotary’s donation of these five cold rooms might not seem like a big deal, after all it is just a small factor in the global fight to eradicate Polio, but it is a sign of what can be accomplished when international organizations team up to help local communities,” Teguest said.
She further added that the handing over ceremony allowed a moment to consider and appreciate what can be done when larger community works together for the common good.