Ethiopia Expands Medical Oxygen Production aimd Rise in Critically ill Covid-19 Patients

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia on Saturday inaugurated a major medical oxygen production plant which, ministry health said, would enhance country’s capacity to treat patients including those severely affected by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

Health officials expect the plant to boost health facilities access to oxygen which is vital to treat critically ill Covid-19 patients whose number has more than doubled in the past 30 days.

Ethiopia,  who lost a total of 4,471 of its citizens to the disease, has 19, 009 confirmed active cases. At least 391 of these patients are severely ill and are currently receiving treatment in hospitals.

– Increasing Oxygen Access –

The state-of-the-art Medical Oxygen Production Plant was  inaugurated in Bahir Dar University’s Tebebe Ghion Specialized Hospital in the presence of top officials in the health sector.

Minister of Health, Dr. Lia Tadesse said the facility produces 270 metric cubes of oxygen per hour.

It can also deliver the Oxygen to more than 500 beds directly from the central plant and has a capacity of filling 300 cylinders per day.

“This will enhance access to oxygen and improve care immensely and it will be able to serve many institutions beyond Tibebe Ghion hospital,” she said.

In a message posted on her twitter page, Dr. Lia expressed her appreciation to all those involved in the effort to make the plant a reality, including the leadership, the professionals and staff of Bahir Dar University and its the College of Health Sciences as well as Tebebe Ghion Specialized Hospital.

The World Health Organisation puts Medical oxygen as vital commodities along with vaccines, personal protective equipment (PPE), and reliable diagnostic tests and medicines to overcome COVID-19 pandemic.

It is also essential to providing safe surgical care and treating many critical conditions, including pneumonia, a leading cause of deaths in children.

At the national level, the Ministry of Health announced last March the government would build new plants and repair the existing one to increase the actual production of oxygen in Ethiopia to 3,267 metric cubes per hour, up from the existing 1,805 metric cube per hour.