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Anambra Govt ramps oxygen production to 200 cylinders per day in fight against COVID-19

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The Anambra Oxygen Production Plant has achieved its target production of 200 cylinders per day, the Managing Director, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, said on Tuesday, March 9, in Awka.

Ibezim explained that the establishment of the plant two years ago was crucial to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are producing real-time and supplying to government hospitals freely based on the mandate of Gov. Willie Obiano.

“The Teaching Hospital at Amaku is a major beneficiary as we have a major COVID-19 Isolation Centre there.

“Also, getting a free supply of oxygen is the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi. The spillover of production goes to private hospitals,’’ he said.

He added that the average medical oxygen consumption per critical COVID-19 patient was astronomically high, ranging from six cylinders to 10 cylinders per day in some patients.

“This puts so much pressure on our production cumulatively. Don’t forget that oxygen is still used in many other conditions in our health care system,’’ he said.

READ ALSO: Nigerian govt, varsity partner to produce COVID-19 vaccines

Ibezim said also that the agency planned to increase production beyond the target figure of 200 cylinders per day to meet up with population growth and to address other health issues like Lassa fever.

He stressed the need for the replication of oxygen plants in other Senatorial districts of the state to reduce the burden on the plant currently in operation.

The replication of other health facilities would ensure comprehensive coverage, he said.

“We also have a proposal to pipe oxygen from the production plant to designated beds and the emergency centre at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital.

“This means that we won’t move cylinders around anymore. A hospital can also get big cylinders, place them at designated places, and pipe oxygen to beds.

“That way, we will not have the challenge of loading and offloading cylinders and also avoid possible damages and explosions that may occur with weak cylinders.

“These are doable and we hope to get there,’’ Ibezim said.

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