Sin taxes pay for vaccine refrigerators
The Department of Health (DOH) is allotting about P360 million from last year’s sin tax collections to equip 30,000 rural health units across the country with vaccine refrigerators to boost vaccination coverage among Filipinos.
Health Secretary Janette Garin said the current practice, which entails health workers travel from remote villages to regional health offices to get vaccines, has been identified as a gap in the DOH’s goal to increase immunization coverage in the country.
“If vaccine refrigerators are limited to the regional health offices, our health workers will have to travel far every day to get vaccines,” Garin told reporters in an interview.
She said each rural health unit (RHU) will be provided with one vaccine refrigerator prequalified by the World Health Organization. Providing these refrigerators to grassroot units will help improve the government’s cold chain management. The procurement will be made through United Nations Children’s Fund, she added.
“If you have the vaccines stored in the RHU, in the town proper, our health workers will be able to work faster. They would just get the needed vaccines for the day and make the rounds of barangays, storing the vaccines in a specialized chest,” Garin said.
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