Nigeria to build 38 Oxygen plants as treatment centres ‘struggle’ with COVID patients
As President Muhammadu Buhari has now approved about 17 million dollars for the project to meet the demand for medical oxygen, the Nigerian government says it will develop 38 oxygen plants across the country.
In the midst of a second outbreak of the pandemic, the West African country’s COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed to over 1,000 infections in the last few weeks.
At a meeting of the National Economic Council on Wednesday, finance minister Zainab Ahmed said that an increase in the number of patients in need of oxygen was appropriate for the construction of new plants.
The government said in a statement that it had allocated an estimated $671,000 to upgrade existing oxygen generation facilities in five hospitals.
Although the number of Covid-19 patients in need of oxygen support is unknown, the authorities said the situation was serious.
According to Africanews, in Nigerian public hospitals, oxygen shortages are usual, leading to the deaths of some patients. But authorities are now saying that extreme instances of COVID-19 needing oxygen have made the situation worse. According to Prof. Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, a significant number of patients currently admitted to isolation centers are largely dependent on oxygen. Abayomi explains, a patient with a critical case can use about six oxygen cylinders in 24 hours.
According to the state government, oxygen demand at one of its key hospitals has risen fivefold in recent weeks in the commercial capital of Lagos, the epicenter of Nigeria’s outbreak, to 350 6-liter cylinders a day.
It adds that the figure was anticipated to double to 750 by the end of January.