MEDICAL reports and journals show that medical oxygen is the single most essential medicine for treating patients with COVID-19.
Sept. 9, 2021
3 min read
Medical oxygen is imperative in the treatment of COVID-19
- Most hospitals grapple with limited oxygen supply
- Shortage is prevalent in many hospitals across the continent
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Nonetheless, this vital component used in the fight against the fatal respiratory virus is not readily available in most hospitals where such patients are treated.
The lack of the oxygen and other related supplies has among others resulted in many lives being gratuitously lost on most hospital beds.
Such deaths could have been evaded with less aggravation if health centres and hospitals were equipped with adequate and necessary medical oxygen supplies.
Patients in hospitals across the world have complications because of delays in receiving critical medical treatment.
The inevitable truth is that the advent of the fatal COVID-19 has underlined countless cracks in most health care systems around the globe.
This is evident even in countries with the best economies and offer top notch health care services like South Africa.
The country (SA) with some of the best health facilities in the continent is among others experiencing serious bed shortages while several of its hospitals grapple with limited oxygen supplies to treat patients with the respiratory disease.
The shortage of medical oxygen is prevalent in most African countries and Lesotho has not been spared from the dearth.
Media reports show that the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine and all the protocols prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) can alone not overcome the deadly virus that has already consumed a total of 4 602 971 people as of September 8, 2021.
Statistics show that there are currently 222 897 358 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 221 countries in the world.
The lack of the vital medical oxygen in local hospitals has however, prompted Lesotho to start producing some for its own people.
Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro
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Minister of Health, Semano Sekatle
In December 2020, the Partner in Health (PIH) Lesotho - supported Botšabelo Hospital became the first health facility in the country to install a new oxygen plant.
PIH Lesotho, known locally as Bo-Mphato Litšebeletsong Tsa Bophelo, opened the plant in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. The facility is housed in a renovated shipping container on the campus of the country’s only health centre for patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
On July 16, the Minister of Health, Semano Sekatle officiated the launching of another oxygen plant worth M8 million at the Berea Hospital in Teyateyaneng.
Launching yet another medical oxygen plant at the Mafeteng Treatment Centre on Friday, Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro pledged that the Ministry of Health will work tirelessly to curb the spread of the pandemic, warning that the nation must also be engaged on how to protect itself from the deadly disease.
“The toughest time was in January when the second wave hit the country as there was no medical oxygen for severely hit patients,” he recalled.