Home ECONOMY Nigerian Hospital Unveils Solar-Powered Oxygen Plant And Newborn Unit

Nigerian Hospital Unveils Solar-Powered Oxygen Plant And Newborn Unit

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A Nigerian hospital has unveiled a new solar-powered medical oxygen plant and a level 2 newborn unit to improve maternal and newborn healthcare.

UNICEF, HIS Towers, the Gates Foundation, and the governments of Canada and Norway donated the facilities to Jericho Hospital.

UNICEF Nigeria’s Cristian Munduate and Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde stated the facility will significantly reduce neonatal mortality and improve health outcomes for vulnerable infants.

“By harnessing solar power, we ensure reliable and sustainable oxygen supply, even in times of limited electricity,” said Munduate.

The pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plant will produce oxygen on-site using solar power, reducing the hospital’s dependency on external suppliers.

UNICEF reports the new solar-powered oxygen plant can fill 135 cylinders (20 liters each) and produce 720,000 liters of medical oxygen in 24 hours.

This capacity ensures that 100 children with severe pneumonia or 50-60 Covid-19 patients can receive round-the-clock oxygen treatment simultaneously.

The plant also reduces the risk of treatment interruptions due to power outages and aligns with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

“Additionally,” Munduate added, “we have equipped the Level 2 Newborn Unit at Jericho Specialist Hospital with state-of-the-art equipment and staffed it with trained healthcare professionals dedicated to providing specialized care for premature and critically ill newborns.”

The oxygen plant will support the unit funded by the Gates Foundation.

Governor Seyi Makinde called the plant’s handover a monumental achievement, aligning with Oyo State’s Omituntun 2.0 commitment to quality healthcare for all.

“This plant will significantly enhance our capacity to provide essential medical care, ensuring our healthcare system’s resilience and sustainability.”

Construction teams have built and handed over oxygen plants to state governments in Ogun, Kaduna, Cross Rivers, and Ebonyi. Four more plants are scheduled for delivery later this year,

Medical oxygen and country-wide crises

Nigeria reported over 200,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and several thousand deaths during the pandemic.

Many hospitals lacked and still lack the necessary equipment to administer oxygen therapy, such as oxygen concentrators and cylinders.

To support the Nigerian Government’s Covid-19 Response Plan, several initiatives sought to donate necessary supplies.

In 2020, the UN supplied 10,000 test kits, 15 oxygen concentrators personal protective equipment, vaccines, emergency health kits and other vital health supplies.

The country also has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with lack of access to medical oxygen during childbirth complications being a significant contributing factor.

In 2020, Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate of 1,047 per 100,000 births was the third-highest in Africa, far from the UN’s 2030 goal of 70 per 100,000.

Many hospitals in the country are also affected by power cuts, low pay and challenging work conditions for medical professionals.

Nigeria’s 206 grid collapses in nine years, including 12 in 2019, highlight the need for solar-powered medical oxygen plants.

In 2020, power outages led hospitals to conduct surgeries by torch and candlelight.

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