Graham HR, Bagayana SM, Bakare AA, Olayo BO, Peterson SS, Duke T, Falade AG
Glob Health Sci Pract 8 (4) 858-862 [2020-12-23; online 2020-09-28]
Oxygen therapy is an essential medicine and core component of effective hospital systems. However, many hospitals in low- and middle-income countries lack reliable oxygen access-a deficiency highlighted and exacerbated by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Oxygen access can be challenged by equipment that is low quality and poorly maintained, lack of clinical and technical training and protocols, and deficiencies in local infrastructure and policy environment. We share learnings from 2 decades of oxygen systems work with hospitals in Africa and the Asia-Pacific regions, highlighting practical actions that hospitals can take to immediately expand oxygen access. These include strategies to: (1) improve pulse oximetry and oxygen use, (2) support biomedical engineers to optimize existing oxygen supplies, and (3) expand on existing oxygen systems with robust equipment and smart design. We make all our resources freely available for use and local adaptation.