Oxygen is essential. Now is the time to kick medical oxygen solutions into hyper speed—not only for COVID-19 pandemic response, but to build health systems that can continue to save lives.
Through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, closing the gap between demand and supply of oxygen in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is a matter of life and death. But it is not a simple problem—it will require an integrated set of solutions, including addressing market inefficiencies, building a supportive policy environment, and prioritization by global, national, and subnational stakeholders.
We have a chance to move some of the solutions forward now to ensure a rapid response to the pandemic, as well as build a sustained platform for the future, starting with raising awareness of the critical role that efficient markets play in closing the oxygen access gap.
Join the conversation!
- Primary hashtag: #OxygenAccess
- Secondary hashtags: #EveryBreathCounts, #OxygenSavesLives
- Twitter: @PATHTweets, @PATHAdvocacy, @Stop_Pneumonia
- Facebook: @PATHglobalhealth
Oxygen is essential. It is a key treatment for a wide range of diseases that affect all parts of the population—but it’s often overlooked in health system planning for a number of reasons. It is both a medicine and a device, has complex delivery infrastructure, requires proper training for health workers and sustainable maintenance plans for oxygen equipment, and should be supported by sufficient budget.
The COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted the role of medical oxygen as a lifesaving therapy for patients struggling to breathe. It also pushed to the surface the long-existing issue of oxygen access gap, as it created an overwhelming demand for oxygen technologies and supplies across many health facilities in LMICs.
Closing this gap will require an integrated set of solutions and investment in strengthening the oxygen delivery systems, including resilient oxygen markets—from demand planning to financing to supply and distribution systems. Under the theme “Markets Matter: Closing the Oxygen Gap”, this campaign puts a spotlight on the role that efficient markets play in scaling up #OxygenAccess. Now is the time to add your voice and help close the oxygen gap!
The following messages have been drafted with Twitter in mind, but please share on any social media platform you prefer.
Medical oxygen supply should be thought of and planned for as a utility for health facilities, like water or electricity. It should be available reliably at any time, as it is essential for sustaining life. #OxygenAccess
More than a medicine: Designating the oxygen delivery system as a utility brings together the necessary players—health systems, oxygen manufacturers and distributors, and financial partners—into a unified structure to ensure consistent and stable services. #OxygenAccess
National health systems need to create marketplaces where firms compete for long-term contracts to provide oxygen seamlessly from production to patient. This will likely lead to lower prices and reliable access to medical oxygen for health facilities in LMICs. #OxygenAccess
Oxygen delivery for the treatment of #COVID19, pneumonia, and more requires not only the medical gas, but accessories, storage, and transport. This results in a complex #SupplyChain, where a breakdown at any point can bring delivery to a halt. #OxygenAccess
Disruptions and bottlenecks to oxygen #SupplyChains can happen at many levels—from manufacturing to in-country logistics to shipping supplies—and must be identified and corrected promptly to ensure the lifesaving commodity gets to every patient in need. #OxygenAccess
Tailoring the oxygen #SupplyChain to meet specific country demands allows health facilities to balance costs with their ability to respond to daily needs and emergencies. In these cases, innovative solutions are needed to help efficiently match supply and demand. #OxygenAccess
Improvements in the way medical oxygen delivery is financed can help create long-term commitments that build robust oxygen delivery infrastructure for the treatment of patients with respiratory distress from diseases like #COVID19 and pneumonia. #OxygenAccess
#COVID19 is straining health financing environments as domestic health spending is being redirected to address the pandemic while critical health services are often set aside. Fundamental changes in the way oxygen is procured and financed can help money go further. #OxygenAccess
Innovative solutions such as coordinated ordering across facilities and better access to working capital can help change the way medical oxygen is procured and financed, leading to a more robust oxygen delivery infrastructure for the treatment of #COVID19 and beyond #OxygenAccess
Timely, accurate data is critical for policymakers to make informed decisions around medical oxygen. Gaps in oxygen data prevent administrators from investing in equipment and managers from holding health facilities accountable for patient care. #OxygenAccess
The scaling up of oxygen systems must be informed by quality data that reveal gaps in availability of medical oxygen and opportunities to fill those deficiencies. Filling these gaps could mean the difference between life and death for patients struggling to breathe. #OxygenAccess
Oxygen delivery should become a standard health system indicator like bed nets or vaccines. Only when timely, accurate data about oxygen and the supplies and accessories needed to access it are available can policymakers make informed decisions about #OxygenAccess.
Including oxygen investment in national policies, programs, and budgets provides a significant return for global health in improved health outcomes. #OxygenAccess
Oxygen delivery systems have demonstrated a return of US$50 per disability-adjusted life year. Increasing investments in oxygen delivery within health systems can save money in the long run and improve health outcomes across all populations. #OxygenAccess
Investing in oxygen therapy paired with pulse oximetry is not only affordable, feasible, and cost-effective, it is also recommended globally. The initial costs of oxygen technologies and supplies are quickly offset, making it a winning return for global health. #OxygenAccess
Oxygen is essential. It is a key treatment for a range of diseases and across populations, but it’s often overlooked in health system planning because of complex infrastructure requirements, perceptions about cost, and poor data on health impact. #OxygenAccess
#COVID19 has spotlighted the role of oxygen as a lifesaving therapy for patients struggling to breathe. We have a chance to move some of the solutions for #OxygenAccess forward now to ensure a rapid response to the pandemic, as well as build a sustained platform for the future.
Through the #COVID19 pandemic and beyond, closing the gap between demand and supply of oxygen in LMICs is a matter of life and death. But it is not a simple problem—it will require an integrated set of solutions. #OxygenAccess
Oxygen therapy is an essential part of ending preventable deaths among children and adults globally, including through the treatment of #COVID19. However, reliable #OxygenAccess, paired with pulse oximetry, remains inadequate across many health facilities in LMICs.
This toolkit was developed as part of the COVID-19 Respiratory Care Response Coordination Project. PATH would like to provide special recognition to RRD Design LLC for graphic design of the campaign.
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