Radically Changing the Way Health Care is Delivered
Oxygen is life. It is an essential part of basic care for countless conditions, including childhood pneumonia, tuberculosis, heart failure, asthma, and - especially in recent years - COVID-19. Yet it can be easily taken for granted.
Globally, 1 of 5 patients in low- and middle-income countries lack access to lifesaving oxygen therapy.
At Partners in Health, we believe that health is a human right. We refuse to accept a world in which patients suffer and die gasping for breath. That is why we are working tirelessly - from bedsides to the halls of power - to resolve the global oxygen crisis.
38 million patients admitted to low- and middle- income country hospitals needed oxygen in 2020
60% of health care facilities in low- and middle-income countries lack reliable oxygen supply
26% reduction in hospital-wide mortality with improved oxygen systems
About BRING O2
For more than a decade, Partners In Health has worked to ensure the facilities we support have the right staff, stuff, space, systems, and social support to help patients in need of timely and lifesaving oxygen therapy. That work became all the more urgent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Responding to that need, PIH launched Building Reliable Integrated and Next Generation Oxygen Services, or BRING O2, to accelerate access to safe, reliable, and quality oxygen in Malawi, Rwanda Peru, Lesotho, and Madagascar. BRING O2 is funded by Unitaid and completed in partnership with Build Health International (BHI) and Pivot Health Madagascar.
The main objectives of BRING O2 are to increase oxygen delivery capacity and access by:
- Alleviating oxygen supply and demand pressures;
- Improving oxygen equipment, delivery, and logistics; and
- Providing technical assistance, training, and systems support
Since December 2021, we have conducted on-site assessments in the give target countries and then completed everything from building new oxygen production plants and repairing broken or malfunctioning plants to overall improvements in facility infrastructure, as well as providing comprehensive training for biomedical engineers and clinicians.
When complete ...
130,000 patients each year will gain access to lifesaving oxygen treatment
100+ biomedical staff will be trained and equipped to maintain oxygen systems
50+ hospitals with increased oxygen capacity
To date, BRING O2 has purchased two new oxygen production plants and conducted nearly a dozen on-site technical assessments of existing oxygen plants to plan repairs and upgrades. But this is only the beginning. Over the next six months, BRING O2 will repair 25 oxygen plants and over 100 oxygen concentrators, install piping to deliver oxygen to more than 550 hospital beds, establish regional networks to deliver oxygen to hospitals without production plants, train dozens of biomedical technicians, and educate over 500 healthcare workers on oxygen delivery.
Modernizing hospital oxygen hundreds of miles from the nearest paved road is indeed a tough challenge. It requires strengthening an entire system of care - a PIH specialty - and involved investment in delivery, logistics, maintenance, piping, training for clinicians, and more. In time, BRING O2 will improve local biomedical and clinical capacity and strengthen the entire oxygen ecosystem, from plant to patient, saving lives during future COVID-19 surges, new emerging pandemics, and beyond.