Govt unveils Rwf 1.7bn vaccines warehouse

Health ministry Permanent Secretary Jean-Pierre Nyemazi (left) and other officials are given a tour of a new vaccines warehouse at the Special Economic Zone in Kigali, by Hassan Sibomana, the Director of Vaccination Unit at Rwanda Biomedical Centre (right), yesterday. The facility was constructed at a tune of Rwf1.7 billion through a partnership between the Government and Gavi. Emmanuel Kwizera.

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with GAVI Alliance and other partners, in the health sector officially inaugurated a new vaccination programme office and a warehouse on Tuesday.

The warehouse, which was inaugurated in the Special Economic Zone, was built at a cost of around Rwf1.7 billion and is the result of longstanding partnership between Government and Gavi.  

The Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), Jeanine Condo, hailed GAVI for its support to the country’s vaccination programme. 

She highlighted that the complex was built through the Performance Based Financing (PBF) grant awarded to Rwanda for good vaccination coverage.

According to the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Dr Jean-Pierre Nyemazi, the warehouse will enable RBC to reallocate the budget it has been spending on renting a warehouse for a long time to other running costs of vaccination programme.

“We have been spending over four million Francs monthly on the warehouse rental. But now that we have our own warehouse, this money will be reallocated to other tasks such as training or the construction of other buildings,” he noted.

Mireille Buanga-Lembwadio, the programme officer in Anglophone Africa Region for Gavi, said that the building was a result of good performance of the country’s vaccination programme.

“In the case of Rwanda, it implemented the programme successfully so much so that they were able to access additional funding for the construction of this building,” she said.

Through GAVI’s Partnership, Rwanda has been able to achieve and sustain vaccination coverage of 93 per cent for the most common infectious vaccine preventable diseases.

This has contributed to reducing child mortality.

Currently, officials believe that there is need to reach the remaining 7 per cent missed children, and maintain the high coverage in a cost effective and sustainable way.

Today, vaccination programme in Rwanda is offering 13 antigens to a significant number of children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and general population who need adulthood vaccines.