KAMPALA – Ministry of Health together with partners has launched the National Scale Up of Medical Oxygen Implementation Plan (2018-2022).
The plan is the first policy of its kind to coordinate oxygen stakeholders and provide long term guidance for scaling up oxygen access in Uganda.
Launching the plan, Permanent Secretary, Dr Diana Atwine said “the plan is a critical first step to increasing access to oxygen throughout Uganda and articulates a holistic approach to improving demand and supply of medical oxygen in Uganda.”
Medical oxygen is a lifesaving commodity, the lack of which can lead to severe complications and death. 13% of children in Uganda who are admitted for severe pneumonia have hypoxemia (low oxygen in their blood). 15% of pregnant women in Uganda develop life-threatening complications, many of whom could be treated with oxygen therapy.
“Government of Uganda has made great strides in increasing access to medical oxygen by increasing the manufacturing capacity through the installation of oxygen plants at all Regional Referral Hospitals” Dr Atwine said.
Dr Atwine reaffirmed Government’s commitment to ensuring implementation of this plan becomes a success.
The oxygen plants at the Regional Referral Hospitals (RRHs) will provide oxygen to the lower health facilities. Oxygen will be provided to all public health facilities free of charge and at a fee for private and PNFP facilities.
Among other partners supporting the scale up of the oxygen plan is CHAI Uganda who recently received support from ELMA and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to support implementation. CHAI is supporting two regional referral hospitals (Mubende and Jinja Regional Referral Hospitals) reaching a total of 6 districts and will focus on improving clinical outcomes, ensuring sustainable financing for oxygen, strengthening oxygen distribution systems and documenting lessons learned.
Ministry of Health appreciates all partners for their support in scaling up access to oxygen in the health facilities.