UNICEF brings a breath of fresh air to hospitals
Given the cases of death from COVID-19 associated respiratory distress, essential therapies and the supply of oxygen would be required for an appropriate management of the disease, in order to reduce the risk of death. That is why UNICEF concluded contracts with Malagasy companies that supply oxygen for hospitals, which are treating severe cases of COVID-19 in the capital and elsewhere in the country.
To date, 23 hospitals that treat severe cases spread throughout 17 areas have been provided with oxygen to help them save lives. In terms of consumption, each COVID-19 patient requiring oxygen therapy consumes on average about 10 oxygen tanks during the therapy, when indicated. On average, this lasts around 7 days. A total of 2,680 oxygen tanks have already been delivered since June 24. The unit cost of the tanks varies according to the areas – between 108,000 and 225,000 ariary (28 to 59 USD) – representing a total amount of 295,209,000 ariary (77,626 USD).
Over the same one-month period, a total of 688 patients received oxygen therapy, 645 of them saw an improvement in their vital prognosis. In view of the current situation, oxygen consumption may double or triple in the coming weeks.
The provision of oxygen fully covered the needs of main hospitals that manage COVID-19 severe cases. Moreover, intensive care anesthetists could benefit from technical capacity building through refresher training before resuscitation equipment ordered by the Ministry of Health and partners are made available. This provision of oxygen will be vital for the survival of these patients.
Everybody needs to be mobilized, and all approaches that can ensure the survival of those affected, must be explored in coordination with the authorities and in support of the front-line staff, explains Jean-Benoît Manhes, UNICEF Madagascar Deputy representative.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.