In order to increase the accessibility of medical oxygen in critical care units in Zanzibar, the World Health Organization in Tanzania supplied oxygen concentrators and related accessories. The oxygen concentrators and other supplies for the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) were delivered by the Acting WHO Country Representative, Dr. Zabulon Yoti, to the Honourable Hassan Khamis Hafidh, Deputy Minister of Health for Zanzibar. The assistance, valued at more over TZS 184,000,000/- (USD 97,310.30), is intended to enhance EOC operations on the Island and oxygen delivery to intensive care units.
This donation is a continuation of WHO’s assistance to the health authorities in determining the nation’s needs for oxygen supply and formulating strategies to expand the availability of oxygen and medical devices related to oxygen.
The single oxygen production facility in Zanzibar, according to a WHO-supported national evaluation, needs repair in order to resume full production. Due to this constraint, hospitals in Zanzibar were forced to purchase medical oxygen at high cost from commercial sources. Zanzibar has subsequently been able to resume producing medical oxygen at its single facility at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital thanks to technical and financial support from WHO.
Dr. Yoti stated, “We are dedicated to working with the Government of Zanzibar to enhance various capacities required for greater access to high quality healthcare services and the capacity to foresee and address emergencies.
The World Health Organization was thanked for providing timely assistance to the Zanzibari people, and the Deputy Minister of Health promised them that the equipment and supplies would be used as intended after accepting the donation.
“Our partnership with WHO has been and continues to be crucial in the development of our health system. The technology we receive today will advance ongoing pandemic response activities, particularly in the areas of risk communication and community involvement, critical care for COVID-19 patients, and patient care. Zanzibar will be better able to fulfil its IHR duties with this timely support, according to Hon. Hafidh.