• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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UNICEF, Canada open oxygen plant in Ebonyi for clinical emergencies

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The United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has partnered IHS Towers and the Government of Canada to open an Oxygen Plant at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AE-FUTHA), Ebonyi State to cater for clincial emergencies.

BusinessDay reports that the Oxygen Plant can produce 6,000 liters of oxygen in a day for the State and it will be co-managed by AE-FETHA and State Government for effective use.

The Oxygen Plant was inaugurated by Governor Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Patricia Onyemachi Obila.

Read also: UNICEF urges governments, donor agencies to prioritise investment in immunization

Rownak Khan, Advocate for Child Rights, and UNICEF Deputy Representative in Nigeria at the event, said UNICEF would like to work with the Ebonyi State Government to identify with other partners and come up with a plan where they can explore private sectors and also other donors as well for their support in maintaining the oxygen.

“Today is a historical day not only for the people of Ebonyi State but Nigeria. This is a milestone in the oxygen landscape as we commission an oxygen gas plant to this State.

“Also I would like to acknowledge our donors who trusted us with funds that allowed us to be able commission this oxygen plant and I want to acknowledge the government of Canada, the IHS Towers, and other partners.

“This is also a true example of a public-private partnership, the partnership between UNICEF, we are a long-standing partner in Nigeria, and our presence is more than 40 years in this country.”

Robinson Onoh, Professor and Chief Medical Director, Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, (CMD) Abakaliki, said with the oxygen plant more lives especially children under five years would be saved.

Onoh however appealed for the solarization of the plant by the donor to make it less expensive, adding that the hospital would need a water treatment plant.

Onoh said the Oxygen Plant could also serve as a source of IGR to Ebonyi State when properly managed.

“Oxygen is one of the vital things that is needed in human life, for is, Unicef has given the state and the hospital life. We want to thank Unicef and also thank the state for the support they have given to this hospital for this oxygen production.

“For us, this is what we have been looking for, where we will now have our oxygen production done by ourselves and Unicef has come to our help by domiciling this oxygen plant in this hospital.

“We want to ensure the world that we have well-trained engineers that will manage this plant and that we will ensure that oxygen production is done regularly such that patients that come to this hospital can receive oxygen freely and that we can save a lot of lives.

Read also: Henshaw, UNICEF ambassador laud children immunisation in Bauchi

“With this, there won’t be a need for us to go to Porthacut or anywhere else to get oxygen with what we have here we will be producing enough to take care of our patients and other states can even come to get from us.

“I am also requesting that this oxygen plant be solarized because diesel is very expensive and when you work on diesel the production will be as if you are buying it from other places. But if it is solarized the cost of production and cost patients will pay for it will also be reduced.

“When I was talking earlier I requested support for a water treatment plant, the essence of it is that we discovered that a lot of patients now came down with renal failure and we think that one of the things that may be causing it is the kind of water we have here(hard water).

“If we have a water treatment plant that is domiciled in the state, we will now remove the impurities and chemicals that are domiciled in that water and now produce purified water that will get to everybody.