Critical care services use oxygen as a primary commodity required for the management of moderate and severe COVID-19 patients, particularly in accident and emergency departments and intensive care units. Similarly, general and specialist anesthesia services all rely on oxygen support through noninvasive and invasive mechanical ventilation.
To this end, the Zambia Ministry of Health, in collaboration with its Zambia National Public Health Institute and PATH, cohosted a virtual Zambia Oxygen Summit from October 20 to 23, 2020. The summit aimed at addressing demand for national medical grade oxygen, or medical oxygen, in the management of critically or severely ill COVID-19 patients within the designated pandemic treatment centers and around the country. The summit’s primary goal was to obtain stakeholder input and recommendations to improve the government’s oxygen escalation plan for acute respiratory care among COVID-19 patients.
This report shares highlights from the discussions held during the summit around strategies and approaches to improving access to medical oxygen. It illustrates the current national status of oxygen scale-up, challenges, and lessons learned, as well as mitigation strategies in the production and supply of medical oxygen. The report also presents a set of proposed recommendations to improve access to safe oxygen in Zambia.
Publication date: February 2021