WHO gives laboratory, cold chain equipment to Maldives to strengthen pandemic response

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has handed over the cold chain and laboratory supplies to the Maldives Ministry of Health to strengthen pandemic response and support the building of a resilient health system

Feb 26, 2021
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has handed over the cold chain and laboratory supplies to the Maldives Ministry of Health to strengthen pandemic response and support the building of a resilient health system.

At a virtual ceremony held Thursday, the WHO South-East Asia Regional Director, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh handed over the supplies to the Minister of Health Ahmed Naseem.

The supplies will build a modern cold chain system for COVID-19 and other vaccines, strengthen quality of care, and sustain quality testing for COVID-19, measles, rubella and Influenza, according to a statement.

“With WHO's contributions, Maldives has made significant progress in its healthcare and development indicators over the past decades,” said Naseem.

“Being a small island nation, Maldives is vulnerable to the impacts of socio­ economic transformations and environmental challenges. As such, it is imperative that we prioritize increasing our capacity for protecting health in an unstable and changing climate.”

“Despite the country’s global connectedness and population density in capital Male, COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country have been three times below the global average mortality per million population,” said Dr. Singh.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the WHO has been working with the Maldives government and partners for implementing the scenario-based response, and the whole-of-government, whole-of-society buy-in.

The procurement of essential medicines and consumables has helped the Maldives maintain essential health services, which has been one of the region’s key areas of focus throughout the response. 

With the help of WHO-provided test kits, the Maldives has tested a staggering 75 percent of its population. Cold chain equipment donated is adequate to support vaccine management for the next 10 years.

The Maldives spends 10 percent of GDP on health – the highest allocation in the region – and provides government-funded comprehensive health insurance to every Maldivian.

“I am certain that Maldives’ commitment to adequate and efficient public health financing will continue to be a core feature of its efforts to achieve UHC, a flagship priority in the region and the target that underpins Sustainable Development Goal 3,” she said.

“I look forward to Maldives’ ongoing regional and global leadership throughout the vaccine roll-out and in the recovery from the crisis and commend leaders on their commitment to build a caring state and to implement the Strategic Action Plan in letter and spirit,” she added.

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