Save the Children Boosts Vaccine Storage in Sierra Leone with 15 Solar-Powered Refrigerators

Wednesday 13 March 2024

SCI staff handing over refrigerators to MoH Minister (L-R; Health Minister Demby, SCI Operations, Deane Evans and SCI Foundations Director, Modupe Taiwo)

In a stride towards improving healthcare infrastructure, Save the Children has donated 15 solar-powered cold chain refrigerators to the Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone. This donation, part of the Canadian-sponsored Foundations Project, aims to bolster vaccine storage capabilities across all 15 peripheral health units in Kailahun district.

The handover ceremony took place on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at the Youyi building compound in Freetown, following short presentations by representatives from the Ministry and Save the Children in the ministry's conference room.

With these refrigerators now in place, every health unit in Kailahun district possesses a proper vaccine storage facility. The Minister of Health, Dr. Austin Demby, emphasized the impact this would have on child vaccination in the district.

"Having a 100% proper refrigerator system for the entire Kailahun district eliminates all excuses for vaccination of children," stated Dr. Demby. He underscored the critical role vaccines play in children's development, emphasizing that with this donation, there are no more barriers hindering timely and sequential vaccination for every child in Kailahun.

Save the Children's contribution goes beyond refrigerators. As part of the Foundations Project, eight peripheral health units in the district have been refurbished, and various training programs have been conducted for medical professionals and adolescents.

The Deputy Minister of Gender and Children's Affairs, alongside other Health Ministry officials, attended the ceremony. Speaker after speaker commended Save the Children for its dedication and applauded the organization and its partners for their efforts in fortifying the health sector, particularly for women and children in Sierra Leone.

This donation signifies a step towards ensuring vaccine accessibility and efficacy, safeguarding the health and well-being of Sierra Leone's youngest citizens.

The foundations project is operating in 40 communities in Kailahun district looking to benefits 149,000 participants in the district. among many other things, the project seeks to strengthen adolescent sexual reproductive health and rights.