Oxygen Tank commissioned by Amref Health Africa with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, installed at Othaya Level 6 hospital

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CAS Health Dr. Mercy Mwangangi demonstrates how to use an oxygen pressure gauge to The Rockefeller Foundation Food Initiative Director Betty Kibaara and Othaya Member of Parliament Hon. James Gichuki Mugambi at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Othaya

An oxygen generation plant at Othaya Level 6 Hospital in Nyeri County has been completed. The plant was commissioned by Amref Health Africa with support from The Rockefeller Foundation.

The MoU will see other plants put-up at Kajiado Teaching and Referral Hospital, Mbagathi Hospital, and the Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital, as part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s efforts to support the Government of Kenya’s COVID-19 response. While the Othaya plant is now at 100% completion. The Kajiado Teaching and Referral Hospital is at 70% completion and on schedule for completion mid-December 2020. Additionally, Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital project implementation is at 50% completion and set to be completed by the end of this month.

Amref Group CEO, Githinji Gitahi said that Oxygen is an important life-saving commodity for the management of various critical conditions in health facilities and is often unaffordable to the poorest and most disadvantaged. “Medical oxygen is also the primary treatment for the majority of patients who are suffering from severe COVID-19 symptoms. Its availability in hospitals is of utmost importance,” he said.

The oxygen tank at Othaya Level 6 Hospital has the capacity to hold 4000 Kgs of Liquid Oxygen and can supply the hospital for 30 days at current consumption rates. Having an onsite oxygen plant will guarantee a sustainable supply of high purity oxygen in ICU, NBU Operations Theatres, as well as the general wards. Further, the installation will reduce the current cost of Compressed Oxygen by about 30%.

William Asiko, The Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Managing Director on his part said that the Foundation was keen to support the elimination of Covid-19 in Kenya and around the world. A challenge this large requires partners to collaborate in order to reach the scale and scope needed to bend the COVID-19 curve downward. “Through collaboration with grantees such as Amref Health Africa and the Ministry of Health, we are working to identify, invest, and scale-up solutions in the communities we serve,” he said.

In 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognized the need to increase access to quality oxygen and revised the Essential Medicines List to include Oxygen as an essential drug.

To further support Othaya Level 6 Hospital, The Rockefeller Foundation, through Amref provided funding for 35 beds with mattresses, three patient monitors, 4,000 full sets of PPE, and 1,000 cartons of sanitizer.