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FAO opens the re-established central cold chain for livestock vaccines
Together with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Industry (MLFI), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) officially opened the newly restored central cold chain in Juba on 15 September. The cold chain is crucial for the storage, safe transport and performance of temperature-sensitive livestock vaccines.
The cold chain system is put into place to keep vaccines at the recommended temperature, ranging from +2oC to +8oC, from the manufacturer all the way to the cattle camps in remote areas of South Sudan. If the vaccines are not kept in refrigerators and freezers throughout transportation, they will no longer be effective.
“FAO and MLFI have been working hard to re-establish the central cold chain in order to get the vaccines to all parts of South Sudan. Over USD 1 million of cold chain equipment, spare parts and special refrigeration tools has been procured by FAO this year alone. At the same time, 72 cold chain technicians from the Ministry and partners have been trained on vaccine and cold chain management,” says Serge Tissot, FAO Representative, a.i.
South Sudan currently has 167 cold chain units, with a central cold chain in MLFI in Gudele, and three other main cold chain hubs in Wai, Rumbek and Torrit. The central cold chain in Juba has tripled in storage capacity since 2013, and has been upgraded with the latest technology.
“By advancing technologies and replacing kerosene refrigerators with solar-powered refrigerators, cold chain systems and facilities can operate through times of crisis with minimum preventive maintenance and literally no need for fuel and other running costs,” explains Wudu Melaku, FAO’s cold chain specialist.
The first central cold chain was established in Logichogio, Kenya and was transferred and installed in Juba in 2005, after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.