Medical oxygen has for too long been an afterthought among the competing priorities of global health. It is a World Health Organization essential medicine and necessary treatment for acute and chronic conditions alike, but inequitable access, production shortages, logistical failures, and a host of additional circumstances have inhibited the widespread adoption and consistent provision of this lifesaving resource.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given added salience to the importance of medical oxygen and made stark the seriousness that a lack of access creates. As governments and health systems come to terms with the harsh realities that the pandemic has laid bare, and the resulting political capital and social engagement is mustered, there is a robust opportunity to make inroads against this inequity and help ensure that patients the world over can again breathe easy—in more ways than one.
This supply intelligence brief series, Oxygen Generation and Storage, is intended to be a concise primer for decision-makers who govern, lead, support, or manage health systems and their associated facilities. Providing an overview of the key elements that define each technology—as well as key considerations related to COVID-19—it can establish a starting point for understanding the solutions available to meet a health system’s need for medical oxygen and its delivery. It should serve alongside a broader suite of planning and analytical requirements necessary for the implementation of medical oxygen solutions.
Publication date: July 2021