PATH India’s work on medical oxygen

Now more urgent than ever, PATH India's work on medical oxygen includes upgrading key oxygen generation facilities and advising governments on procurement.

Oxygen therapy can save millions of lives—from treating heart failure and pneumonia to asthma and COVID-19. PATH India has a dedicated team whose focus for several years has been to improve access to medical oxygen across all of India. Those efforts are a key part of PATH's global work on medical oxygen, which spans a broad range of expertise and impact—from advocacy and policy at the highest international levels, to the urgent work of building new oxygen generation capacity facility by facility, state by state, everywhere it is needed.

Strengthening COVID-19 medical oxygen supply

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, PATH has worked across the Indian states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Punjab, India to strengthen respiratory care, with the goal of ensuring that medical oxygen is available for COVID-19 patients and providers when and where it’s needed. These three states have a combined population of more than 224 million people and high burdens of COVID-19. Key aspects of this work include:

Capacity assessments
To ensure equitable access to oxygen, PATH staff document the current availability of equipment in each state and compare it to the forecasted need for equipment. The gap between current availability and estimated need informs procurement and distribution recommendations. Immediate activities include:

  • Training health care workers on rational and hygienic use of oxygen
  • Constituting state and district level committees for monitoring and coordination
  • Rapid demand and quantification and baseline assessment

Supporting procurement and use of respiratory care products
Working directly with local governments, PATH India staff help decision-makers with:

  • Recommendations on equipment selection and placement
  • Site readiness and preparation
  • Technical assistance for oxygen-related procurement activities in state

Supplier and medical oxygen market landscaping and outreach
Outreach to suppliers helps us understand existing inventory, available manufacturing capacity, and current pricing. PATH staff then assist local and state governments with rapid supplier engagement, market landscaping, analytics, and other related support.

PATH facilitated site readiness of pressure swing adsorption oxygen generation at medical facilities in Punjab, Karnataka and Maharashtra

PATH coordinated with vendors to install pressure swing adsorption oxygen generation plants at medical facilities in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Punjab. Photo: PATH.

Urgent oxygen crisis response mobilization

Building on this experience, PATH India has received emergency support from institutional funders and individual donors to accelerate the urgent deployment of pressure swing adsorption oxygen generation plants in additional states, and is providing rapid technical assistance to state and local governments on supply chains, procurement, and equipment. We continue to seek urgent support from individual and institutional donors for our work in this crisis.

Oxygen PSA sites supported by PATH in Karnataka (l)  and Maharashtra (r). Photo: PATH

PATH facilitated site readiness of pressure swing adsorption oxygen generation at medical facilities in Punjab, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Photo: PATH.

COVID-19 Global Oxygen Needs Tracker

PATH's interactive tool helps advocates, decision-makers, implementers, and journalists communicate global oxygen needs and the urgency of investing in access to medical oxygen and related technologies to meet the needs of COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries.

Explore the Oxygen Needs Tracker here.

The tracker and its data have been featured in major global outlets including BBC World, Financial Times, and The Economist.


Screenshot of one view in the the interactive Oxygen Needs Tracker on April 28, 2021. Visit the tracker at

PATH Oxygen Delivery Toolkit

PATH has published a series of documents called The Oxygen Delivery Toolkit: Resources to plan and scale medical oxygen. This toolkit provides materials to help decision-makers, implementers, and advocates plan, manage, and communicate the value of scaling up oxygen delivery systems and access to oxygen and pulse oximetry.

Learn more about the toolkit and download it at

Oxygen Delivery Toolkit covers

The Oxygen Delivery Toolkit includes multiple reports and guides targeted to decision-makers, implementers, and advocates working on respiratory health.

Learn more about PATH India
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