US gifts Guyana solar-powered vaccine refrigerators for remote health centres

Last Updated on Wednesday, 8 November 2023, 7:42 by Denis Chabrol

Ambassador Theriot, USAID-ESC Regional Representative, Minister Anthony ad UNICEF Deputy Representative with a solar refrigerator

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided Guyana’s Ministry of Health with 13 solar-powered vaccine refrigerators to be used in health care centres in remote areas of the country.

US Ambassador to Guyana, Nicole D. Theriot handed over the refrigerators worth US$160,000, and the embassy here said the presentation demonstrated the American government’s “steadfast commitment to Guyana’s health sector.” Ambassador Theriot said, “These solar-powered refrigerators symbolize our shared vision of reaching every corner of Guyana with essential healthcare services.  Together, we continue to work towards a brighter, healthier future for the people of Guyana.”

The embassy said USAID, through its collaboration with UNICEF, procured solar refrigerators to maintain the cold chain, thus ensuring the vaccines’ potency and reliability, in order to respond to an identified need. “A recent assessment revealed several challenges in maintaining a stable cold chain within health facilities in Guyana’s hinterlands,” the embassy said.

The US said those refrigerators would provide consistent access to vital immunizations, improving equitable healthcare access, and significantly reducing the risk of preventable disease outbreaks.  This donation underscores the importance of reliable vaccine storage and will provide a significant cost savings by maintaining the viability of vaccines, the embassy added.