The growing danger of Covid-19 has forced the national and county governments to strengthen their healthcare infrastructure.
One area that has sent the health sector on overdrive is the provision of oxygen. Critically infected Covid-19 patients need ventilator and oxygen support. Therefore, with the rise in the number of serious patients, the demand for oxygen concentrators is increasing rapidly.
Oxygen therapy is widely used in the management of several chronic and acute health conditions.
The rising demand for oxygen is bringing out a stark global truth: even the right to breathe depends on money.
The government must build the technical capacity to be an oxygen supplier or intervene through public-private partnerships with local players to reduce the costs.
For example, the Hewatele- government partnership model illustrates just how a big opportunity we have to ride on innovation to tap into the vast opportunities to reach the most vulnerable.
In many rural areas, we can introduce low-cost technologies that concentrate and store oxygen in health centres that lack electricity.
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic presents a golden opportunity to address medical oxygen as one of the defining health equity issues of our age. The need is self-evident. What has been missing is political goodwill, policies and cooperation – and those are deficits we can fix.