The Fight for Oxygen in Poor Countries

A nurse dismantles an oxygen bottle at a hospital in Libreville, Gabon. September 1, 2016. Image: Marco Longari/AFP/Getty
Image credit
A nurse dismantles an oxygen bottle at a hospital in Libreville, Gabon. September 1, 2016. Image: Marco Longari/AFP/Getty

In wealthier countries, running out of medical oxygen “is all but unthinkable for a resource that literally can be pulled from the air,” the AP reports.

But in low-resource countries, it is expensive and in short supply, with soaring demand amid the pandemic.

For many patients with severe COVID-19, as well as respiratory diseases like pneumonia, it is a critical intervention. But in Guinea, not one hospital bed has a direct oxygen supply. In Congo, only 2% of health care facilities have oxygen. Sierra Leone has just 3 medical oxygen plants to serve 17 million people. 

Yet it wasn’t recognized as an essential medicine until 2017—leaving many poor countries still unprepared as the coronavirus continues spreading.  
 
Now, aid agencies are scrambling to get oxygen equipment to low-income countries in sub-Sarahan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia—a global feat marked by dizzying logistical challenges detailed by Donald McNeil, Jr. in the The New York Times.

Secondary Topic
Comments +

0 comments

Post a Comment

Restricted HTML

  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Back to top