SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Japan donates funds for vaccinations in Ebola-stricken areas

Thousands of children are missing their routine vaccinations because of the Ebola outbreak. | File photo

Japan recently agreed to send $18.5 million to Gavi to finance vaccination services in countries that are suffering from Ebola, the virus that recently caused a West African outbreak.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Seiji Kihara met with the Gavi Chairman of the Board Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to discuss the terms and to finalize the agreement, which will last until 2020.

This donation is the largest that Japan has ever given to Gavi. It is designed to finance and strengthen the health systems located in 13 Ebola-affected nations, such as Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The donation will support health systems by buying new cold chain equipment, guaranteeing that the vaccines have the proper temperatures for storage.

“We’re making this new contribution because we highly appreciate the achievements of Gavi so far and we appreciate your contribution to the area of health,” Kihara said.

There are thousands of children who are missing their routine vaccinations because of the Ebola outbreak. With these funds, Gavi can now trace the children who have not received their vaccinations. Health care workers can then guarantee that the children receive the needed vaccines.

“I am very happy that the Japanese government recognizes Gavi as a smart investment,” Okonjo-Iweala said. “Japan is a leading player in global health, so this first commitment towards Gavi’s work for the 2016 to 2020 period is very significant for us.”

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