The Continental Leadership Research Institute (CLRI) says the government in conjunction with other stakeholders in oxygen supply chain should step up efforts of ensuring that there is a steady supply of oxygen in health institutions managing the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
CLRI Executive Director Paul Mundia Hakoola says the availability of oxygen is a critical component in the treatment COVID-19 hence to ensure that the commodity is readily available so as to avoid unnecessary loss of lives.
Mr Hakoola said his organization has noted that the shortage of oxygen in health facilities around the country during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the institute calls for consented efforts from all stakeholders to ensure that there is uninterrupted supply of oxygen in health facilities.
“The institute has noted that there is a shortage of oxygen in many health facilities across the country and there is need to ensure that oxygen is available in health centres so as to save as many lives as possible,” he said.
Mr Hakoola proposed measures to ensure a steady and uninterrupted supply of the commodity in hospitals.
“For health facilities or hospitals that have been built with the capacity to self-supply of oxygen such as UTH and Levy Hospitals the Institute has noted that these institutions are operating 50% of the capacity and this affects the availability of oxygen in these hospitals. The government should built institutional capacity for these institutions to run at 100%.
“More recently the government removed taxes on cooking oil and petroleum products; we recommend that government should remove taxes on all commodities that are needed in the production oxygen so as to make oxygen more accessible to citizens in both public and private health facilities.
“Public Hospitals and state institutions that have a capacity to produce oxygen should be adequately funded to ensure that there is efficiency in the distribution of oxygen in all health posts across the country,” he said.
He said the fight against COVID-19 requires consented efforts from all stakeholders.
Mr Hakoola further commended government for the measures that it has put in place so far in the efforts to fight the pandemic.
He called on institutions with the mandate to implement the said measures to ensure that they leave no stone unturned as they implement the measures.
He also advised members of the public to ensure that they fellow the simple rules whenever they are in public to help fight the disease.