US Govt gifts Guyana 5 freezers to improve vaccine storage
The local COVID vaccination drive has received a boost with the donation of five ultra-low temperature freezers valued some US$72,000 (G$14 million) from the United States Embassy in Georgetown.
Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony received the equipment on Monday at the Ministry’s Central Supplies Unit in Kingston.
He expressed the Government’s appreciation for the donation, noting that it would serve a critical role in expanding the country’s vaccination storage capacity.
“We are indeed very happy today, because we have received these -80 freezers and as you know one of the most important components of managing vaccines is that you have to get an adequate cold storage system in place,” the Minister is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.
He added that the freezers compliment Guyana’s ultra-cold storage system as they can accommodate vaccines that need to be kept below normal storage temperatures.
According to Anthony, Government was engaged in many discussions to source proper storage facilities for the vaccines and the Embassy had committed to help.
“Our colleagues from the Embassy here had assured us that they are going to help us with the relevant equipment and today you are seeing the donation of these freezers, so we are extremely happy about this.”
He thanked the Embassy for facilitating the repurposing of some US$200,000 under the Breakthrough Action Malaria programme so that the funds could be used to tackle the myths surrounding the COVID vaccines.
Meanwhile, Charge d’Affaires Mark Cullinane stated that the donation from the US Government would allow for the distribution of the vaccines in a proper state to the people of Guyana.
“They were able to make a contribution of five ultra-low temperature freezers that allows the leadership of Guyana to make Guyana safer, to distribute these vaccines in a good, laboratory form to the people of Guyana.”
Cullinane added that this particular donation is part of the US Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Assistance Program. Some US$150,000 has been spent locally to secure equipment to help Guyana address the pandemic.