Maputo — The US government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has donated 15 state-of-the-art oxygen concentrators to assist Mozambique's efforts to increase oxygen supply in several health units.
According to a press release from the US Embassy, the life-saving devices provide continuous, low-flow oxygen to patients suffering from low levels of oxygen in their blood. The acquisition was based on needs identified by the Ministry of Health, and the equipment will be delivered to eight health facilities in the northern province of Nampula.
USAID is also providing technical training for the clinical teams that will use the machines and has funded the necessary rehabilitation in each facility to safely connect and use the equipment. The total cost of the equipment, training and rehabilitation is estimated at 60,000 US dollars.
The concentrators are ideal for more remote and under-resourced facilities, ensuring that patients can receive treatment close to home, when they need it. They create a potentially unlimited local source of oxygen that is 87 to 95 per cent pure, by pulling oxygen from the air and filtering other substances from it.
Based on the Ministry's evaluation of current needs, the 15 oxygen concentrators will be delivered to health facilities in the districts of Nacala Port, Nacala-a-Velha, Monapo, Mozambique Island, Meconta, Malema, Mecuburi, and Mossuril.
"While patients with severe Covid-19 symptoms will be referred to the designated Covid-19 treatment centres in Nampula city, these devices will play a critical role in strengthening Mozambique's resilience to the Covid-19 pandemic," said newly-arrived USAID mission director Helen Pataki.
She added that for people living far from larger, better-equipped health facilities, these oxygen concentrators can provide immediate relief. This includes patients suffering from mild Covid-19 symptoms, severe hypoxaemia caused by Covid-19, and other respiratory conditions.
According to the Embassy release, the US government has been providing ongoing support to strengthen the country's resilience to the Covid-19 pandemic and as of August 2021 has invested approximately 51 million dollars to prevent, test, trace, and treat Covid-19 cases in Mozambique.