World Health Organization delivers the donation of freezers to the Ministry of Health/Institute of Public Health and rapid Ag diagnostic tests to the Laboratory for Virology, to strengthen testing capacities and the operation of COVID-19 prevention and response in North Macedonia. WHO is supporting North Macedonia to prevent, detect and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on readiness for deployment COVID-19 vaccination national plan.

The contribution towards strengthening country’s capacities for diagnostics and expanding laboratories which perform molecular testing for SARS-CoV-2 presence, this time aimed for the Institute of Public Health, consists of 20,000 rapid tests, 3 Biomedical -30°C Freezers and 2 Twin Guard ULT -86°C freezers. We consider timeliness of this donation related to the response in the COVID-19 vaccination, but beyond, the use of the freezers is a great asset to the country in the diagnostics processes on the long run. One Biomedical -30°C Freezer can store up to 57,000 doses of vaccines, which is 171,000 doses for 3 freezers total, while one Twin Guard ULT -86°C freezer can store up to 117,000 doses of vaccines or 234,000 doses total for the 2 freezers. The total cost of both donations is USD 156,254 equivalent to MKD 8,042,550.

The equipment was delivered to the Director of the Institute of Public Health, Dr Shaban Memeti and the Head of Department of the Laboratory for Virology Elizabeta Jancheska.