A duplex pressure swing adsorption (PSA) oxygen plant has been delivered by the World Health Organization (WHO) to a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Dr. Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Representative and Head of Missions to Somalia, handed off the plant on March 17th. The EU-funded plant was delivered as part of the country’s continued support for the Covid-19 emergency response.
The epidemic has uncovered serious flaws in the worldwide medical oxygen supply chain and current infrastructure, with front-line organizations such as Médecins Sans Frontières declaring medical oxygen to be the most critical component of an effective Covid-19 response.
The new plant, which is being installed at the De Martino Hospital in Mogadishu, is an attempt to contribute to WHO’s vision of a post-Covid-19 health system that is “inclusive and fair.”
The De Martino hospital, as the country’s first dedicated Covid-19 patient healthcare center, will use the new plant to give crucial oxygen to up to 25 intensive care patients while another unit refills cylinders.
H.E. Fawziya Abikar Nur, Federal Minister of Health and Human Services of Somalia, remarked, “Together, they can fill 100 40-litre oxygen cylinders in a day.”
“This funding is part of a long-term strategy to increase oxygen availability in hospitals across the country.”
Medical oxygen is an important tool for treating various critical disorders such as pneumonia and trauma, as well as giving support during childbirth, despite its importance in treating severe cases of Covid-19.
According to Malik, pneumonia killed two children under the age of five per hour in Somalia in 2018.
“Evidence from around the world reveals that simple medical oxygen can prevent up to 35% of child fatalities.” “It’s extremely important, but there’s no substitute,” he added.
As the pandemic’s worst symptoms fade, WHO is taking a two-pronged approach to providing medical oxygen: in addition to providing medical oxygen to health facilities and the government, the organization is training healthcare workers, biomedical engineers, and technicians on how to use the plants that have been installed.
In Somalia, two more PSA plants are being deployed in Garowe and Hargeisa.