HomeNewsUNICEF Donates Oxygen Plant to Nigerian Hospital to Save Lives 

UNICEF Donates Oxygen Plant to Nigerian Hospital to Save Lives 

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has donated a Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) oxygen plant to Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria. The oxygen plant, which was installed in collaboration with IHS Towers and the Canadian Government, is meant to address the challenge of oxygen scarcity for patients with acute respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, hypoxemia and others.

Pneumonia is the leading cause of death among children under five in Nigeria, accounting for 19% of all child mortality in 2018. According to UNICEF, Nigeria has the highest number of air pollution-related child pneumonia deaths in the world, with over 162,000 deaths annually. Air pollution, especially in the home, is the biggest driver of pneumonia in Nigeria, as many households rely on solid fuels for cooking and heating.

The oxygen plant, which is the first of its kind in a state-owned hospital in Nigeria, will produce 300 litres of oxygen per minute and serve all health facilities within and outside the state. The plant is also expected to improve the management of COVID-19 cases, as oxygen therapy is essential for patients with severe symptoms.

The Chief of UNICEF Lagos Office, Ms. Celine Lafoucriere, said the donation was part of UNICEF’s mandate to provide quality healthcare to every mother and child in Nigeria. She said oxygen is life and a life-saving medical gas that can reduce mortality due to pneumonia by 35%. She added that UNICEF is committed to working with the government and partners to expand access to oxygen in healthcare facilities across the country.

The Chief Medical Director of OOUTH, Dr Oluwabunmi Fatungase, expressed gratitude to UNICEF and its partners for the gesture, saying it has elevated the hospital to a first-class healthcare delivery facility in Nigeria and beyond. She said the oxygen plant will benefit not only the patients but also the staff and students of the hospital.

The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, said the state government is also planning to establish three more oxygen plants in Abeokuta, Ota and Ijebu-Ode to meet the increasing demand for oxygen in the state. She said the state government is also investing in solar power and backup generators to ensure an uninterrupted power supply for the oxygen plants.

The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, commended UNICEF for its support of the state, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. He assured that the state government will make good use of the oxygen plant and ensure its sustainability.

The oxygen plant donation is part of UNICEF’s global campaign to fight pneumonia, which is a preventable disease that kills more children than any other infection. UNICEF and its partners are calling for more action and investment to end the pneumonia crisis and save millions of lives.

Source: Tribune Online

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