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Ukraine Crisis: Alarmingly low medical oxygen supplies

Oxygen supplies: A critical concern for Ukraine

WHO Director-General and WHO Regional Director for Europe warn the world

The world powers are coming together to discuss the Ukraine crisis, which have become a nightmare as a result of Putin’s decision to make advances in the Ukrainian land. People of Ukraine have taken up arms and are not willing to surrender to the tyrant. People of Russia are on the streets condemning war and pray and plead for peace. WHO has rolled out its own set of concerns that are alarming to know.

The Ukraine crisis is a matter of serious concern, not just for the world population but also in terms of it becoming an alarming health emergency. Health must remain a core pillar of the humanitarian response during the Ukraine crisis.

War for Land in Shortage of Oxygen: Ukraine Crisis

This must comprise of the safe and reliable delivery of critical medical supplies, such as life-saving oxygen supplies, which are critical for patients with a variety of conditions, including COVID-19 (Ukraine currently has 1,700 patients in hospital) and other critical illnesses (ranging from neonates to the elderly) caused by complications of pregnancy, childbirth, chronic conditions, sepsis, and injuries and trauma.

In Ukraine, the oxygen supply situation is rapidly deteriorating. Trucks are unable to transfer oxygen supplies from facilities to hospitals across Ukraine, including in Kyiv, the capital. Most of the hospitals’ oxygen reserves may be depleted over the next 24 hours (update as of 27 Feb). Some of the supplies have already run out. Thousands of lives are at stake as a result of this.

Furthermore, medical oxygen generator makers are experiencing shortages of zeolite, a critical, mostly imported chemical component required to create safe medical oxygen in various places. Safe zeolite deliveries from outside Ukraine are also required for these facilities.

A setback to the Ukrainian healthcare system

Ukraine has achieved tremendous progress in upgrading its health systems in recent years, thanks to WHO help, as part of an ambitious health reform agenda. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this included a fast expansion of oxygen treatment capacity for critically sick patients. During the epidemic, WHO inspected over 600 health institutions across the country, and almost half were actively assisted with supplies, technical know-how, and infrastructure improvements, allowing health authorities to save numerous lives.

During the present crisis, this progress is in risk of being derailed.

WHO is assisting health officials in determining the country’s urgent oxygen supply surge requirements, anticipating a 20% to 25% rise above historical requirements prior to the crisis’s escalation last week.

Despite the difficulties presented by the current circumstances, WHO is trying to guarantee that oxygen-related medical devices and trauma treatment supplies are available.

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