The Vanuatu Ministry of Health (MOH), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union (EU) came together at Vila Central Hospital (VCH) to launch a new oxygen plant greatly increasing the country’s access to life-saving medicinal oxygen.
The delivered oxygen plant has the capacity to produce over 500,000 litres of medicinal oxygen within 24 hours, able to fill a total of 74, 6800-litre oxygen cylinders. This means that in a day, approximately 25 critical COVID-19 patients can be supported with non-stop medicinal oxygen.
The oxygen plant installed at VCH uses pressure-swing adsorption (PSA) technology, which captures the surrounding air and then processes and concentrates the air to the 93% oxygen purity acceptable for medical purposes.
The oxygen is then filled directly into oxygen cylinders to be used to treat patients when needed.
“Medicinal oxygen is a critical component of patient care and of overall health system. Its availability can mean the difference between life and death for people in need, not just those sick with COVID-19 but with other respiratory illnesses,” explained Dr Mark Jacobs, WHO Representative to the South Pacific and Director of Pacific Technical Support.
The oxygen plant recently commissioned will continue to provide Vanuatu with improved vital medical services long after the end of COVID-19.