MEDICAL staff from 11 Pacific countries yesterday began a Cold Chain Maintenance and Vaccine Management Training Course.
The course is part of a project organised by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with the Health Ministry, and aims to improve the immunisation program in Pacific Island countries.
The Pacific Immunisation Programme Strengthening (J-PIPS) project began in 2010, and will finish this year.
"It is envisaged that children would be immunised in a timely manner and that staff will have adequate training on the proper management of vaccines to avoid wastages," said JICA resident representative Shumon Yoshiara.
"With the introduction of pneumococcal vaccine, rotavirus vaccine and human papilloma virus vaccine into Fiji's immunisation program, it will have a large impact on reducing deaths among those below the age of five."
Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma thanked JICA for the support that they had provided, saying children in Fiji were already protected against more than 13 diseases through vaccinations.