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 ...
120,000 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 or repaired over 15 oxygen plants, repaired or installed 177 oxygen concentrators, and trained 114 biomedical staff and 429 clinical staff. The project has also established oxygen cylinder delivery networks, which have already distributed over 850 filled cylinders to health care facilities.
Overall, BRING O2 has unlocked over 9,100 cubic meters per day of oxygen capacity—enough medical oxygen to treat more than 83,000 patients per year. By the end of the project, BRING O2 will have repaired seven more pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plants, installed and commissioned two new PSA plants, installed piping to deliver oxygen to more than 800 hospital beds, and continued to foster strong regional networks to deliver oxygen to hospitals without production plants.
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 involves investment in delivery, logistics, maintenance, piping, training for clinicians, and more. Already, BRING O2 has improved local biomedical and clinical capacity and strengthened entire oxygen ecosystems, from plant to patient, saving lives during COVID-19 surges, new emerging pandemics, and beyond.