At a virtual ceremony held, the World Health Organization (WHO) has handed over laboratory and cold chain equipment to the Maldives in order to further strengthen pandemic response and support the building of a resilient health system. The handover was completed by the WHO South-East Asia Regional Director, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, whereas it was received by the Minister of Health, Mr. Ahmed Naseem on behalf of the Maldives.
The supplies will aid to build a modern cold chain system for the or COVID-19 and other vaccines, strengthen the quality of care, and sustain quality testing for COVID-19, measles, rubella and Influenza. Accordingly, the cold chain equipment donated is adequate to support vaccine management for the next ten years.
With the contribution of WHO, Maldives has made major progress in its healthcare and development indicators over the past decade. Maldives spends 10% of GDP on health – the highest allocation in the Region – and offers state-funded comprehensive health insurance to all citizens.
Moreover, since the beginning of the pandemic, WHO has been working with the Government of Maldives and collaborates on implementing scenario-based response, and the whole-of-government, whole-of-society buy-in. The procurement of essential medicines and consumables has helped the island nation maintain essential health services. With the help of WHO-provided test kits, Maldives has tested a staggering 75% of its population.