Saving children’s lives with oxygen

In Pakistan, one-year-old Muhammad Umar suffers from pneumonia, A child dies of pneumonia every 43 seconds a condition that kills 700,000 children under five each year . He was admitted to the emergency ward where, for two days, he received oxygen to help him breathe while antibiotics fought the disease.   "My child was admitted to the emergency…, An investment in over 130 oxygen plants worldwide, Since 2021, UNICEF has expanded its health programming to bring fully operational Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) plants, which are systems that extract oxygen from the air, to locations in need. Amid the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF launched the Plant in a Box project Plant in a Box project which aims to install 130 plants in over 40…, Conquering complexities: The road to oxygen access, Oxygen plants are complex. They are challenging to deliver, to install, and to operate. UNICEF has collaborated with partners and governments to address these hurdles so that that children receive the oxygen they need to survive, with key actions illustrated below., In a room filled with oxygen plant machinery and oxygen cylinders, a exams a large piece of equipment. Close coordination for timely delivery, Transporting the delicate components required for oxygen plants, including generators, cylinders, and humidifiers, across vast distances and varied terrains presents logistical challenges. These components, often exceeding 500 pieces per plant, are not only bulky but also prone to damage and delays. This complexity requires detailed coordination…, Solar panels in Pakistan. Solar installations for uninterrupted power supply, In regions poorly equipped to support large electrical systems, producing oxygen is a major challenge. It is a process that involves compressing and purifying air to isolate oxygen, then storing and distributing it under pressure, all tasks that require a stable power supply. In Pakistan, solar panels are ensuring that newly installed oxygen…, UNICEF staff in front of a newly installed oxygen plant in Calabar, Nigeria. Technical assistance to prepare sites for plant installation, Each country adopts a unique approach to identify the most suitable locations for oxygen plants, typically within or adjacent to large health facilities. However, these sites often face challenges such as limited space or adverse climate conditions, which can disrupt a steady oxygen supply. For instance, in Guinea, inflation caused the…, Health workers wearing personal protective equipment receiving guidance on how to use a piece of equipment held by a trainer. Training of engineers and health workers, In many countries, the lack of oxygen plant engineers leads to skill shortages for operating such technology. Health workers also require training to administer the correct oxygen levels. Consequently, each plant installation includes training for biomedical engineers and healthcare workers, along with a comprehensive maintenance plan and spare…, A woman holds a baby wearing nasal cannulas receiving oxygen therapy. Delivering through crises, Emergency situations present significant complications. In Sudan, the first-ever UNICEF-procured oxygen plants were set up just months before conflict broke out. Tragically, nearby conflict damaged hospital equipment and disrupted services. In response, UNICEF urgently relocated the oxygen plant equipment to a safe place, waiting for an…, The impact of investing in oxygen plants, When all 130 plants become fully operational by 2025, they will provide essential oxygen therapy to an estimated 400,000 sick children with hypoxemia each year, and access to oxygen for millions. This includes the facility near Umar’s home in Pakistan, where UNICEF and the government have invested in five plants installed in five district…, A message to world leaders: Oxygen must be a sustained investment, As the World Health Assembly gathers this year, partners will be discussing the most critical issues in health. This will include how to realize the universal commitment to ensure that medical oxygen is accessible across health services worldwide. Last year, world leaders made Increasing access to medical oxygen a resolution that urges countries…

Traceability and Verification System (TRVST)

Counterfeit and falsified medicines are estimated to cause the death of 169,000 children under 5 every year. This shocking situation is driven by a US$30 billion per year counterfeit and falsified medicines industry in low- and middle-income countries. In response, UNICEF and partners have developed the Traceability and Verification System (TRVST…, Risk of additional harm, As the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines ramped up worldwide, so did the production of counterfeit and falsified vaccines and related supplies. Today, it is estimated that one in ten medical products in low- and middle-income countries are counterfeit or falsified. For the individual child, not only do counterfeit medicines often fail to treat the…, How TRVST works, TRVST relies on a global repository that stores health product information, such as Global Trade Item, serial and batch numbers, as well as production and expiry dates. This data is fed into TRVST by medical product manufacturers. Using a GS1 barcoding technology TRVST allows users – such as health care workers, regulatory authorities and customs…, Benefits of TRVST, The success of the TRVST is contingent on participation by governments as well as on engagement by manufacturers to serialize their products in emerging markets and register them in the global repository. As vaccine manufacturers and Strengthening national supply chains national supply chain and regulatory systems begin to automatically integrate…, Expanding TRVST, While COVID-19 vaccines were the first products covered by TRVST, it has since been expanded to include childhood vaccines, HIV and tuberculosis treatments, reproductive health supplies, anti-malarial items, and a range of essential medicines. By end-2023, nearly ten manufacturers were registering their products in TRVST which includes over 125…, Featured video