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Japan grants $1 million to Unicef for Malawi

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The government of Japan has given $1 million to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) to support the response to the Covid pandemic by strengthening Malawi’s immunisation information systems.

Japanese Ambassador to Malawi Satoshi Iwakiri, has said the grant to Unicef will facilitate easy identification of unvaccinated people and enable healthcare workers to devise solutions to increase vaccine coverage effectively and meet Universal Health Coverage (UHC) goals.

“Japan recognises the importance of digitalising the health system for future epidemics to protect people. This grant from the people of Japan will help real-time monitoring of Covid vaccination coverage, routine immunisation and individuals receiving immunisation,” Iwakiri said.

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The support is expected to reach and benefit nearly 3.6 million people with Covid vaccines, 650,000 under one-year-old children and more than 11,000 healthcare workers across 865 health facilities in the country.

Unicef Malawi acting Representative Gerrit Maritz said, as Unicef continues to respond to the pandemic and support efforts aimed at building back better, the organisation is committed to strengthening healthcare service delivery systems by designing and deploying digitally-enabled solutions that are key to quality healthcare services.

“This valuable contribution from the people of Japan will go a long way in expanding immunisations to reach all who need life-saving vaccines, including children,” Maritz said.

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According to the representative, Unicef will, using the funds, work with the Ministry of Health to deploy innovative tools that capture, transmit and aggregate real-time data, enabling authorities to make better and timely decisions in response to the pandemic and strengthen routine immunisation systems.

Since the onset of the Covid pandemic on April 2 2020, when Malawi registered the first case of coronavirus, the authorities have adapted digital health systems to collect, analyse and report information about the spread and containment of the disease.

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