TANZANIA – The United Republic of Tanzania, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Tanzania, has donated oxygen concentrators and associated accessories to improve availability of medical oxygen in critical care units in Zanzibar.
Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous territory in a political union with Tanzania, has received oxygen concentrators and associated accessories valued at about TZS 184,000,000 (US$97,310.30) envisaged to improve operations in the Island’s Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (EOC).
WHO Tanzania Country Office announced on its website that the donation is a continuation of WHO’s support to the health authorities to identify the country’s oxygen supply needs and propose solutions to increase supply of oxygen and oxygen-related medical devices.
The Acting WHO Country Representative Dr. Zabulon Yoti handed over the oxygen concentrators along with other medical equipment for the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre to the Deputy Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender and Children of Zanzibar Honorable Hassan Khamis Hafidh.
We are committed to collaborate with the Government of Zanzibar to improve different capacities necessary for improved access to high quality health services and the capacity to prevent and respond to emergencies.
Dr. Zabulon Yoti reaffirmed that the World Health Organization’s commitment to collaborate with the Government of Zanzibar to improve different capacities necessary for improved access to high quality health services and the capacity to prevent and respond to emergencies.
“Oxygen is the most critical medicine for people with severe COVID-19, yet its supplies are unstable in many countries. Without a significant investment in oxygen infrastructure, those whose illness is severe and who cannot access oxygen will die,” highlights the World Health Organization.
Furthermore, a countrywide assessment supported by the World Health Organization in 2020 revealed that oxygen supply is insufficient in the Tanzanian archipelago because Zanzibar’s infrastructure is not functioning due to lack of regular maintenance and repairs.
The assessment reported Zanzibar having only one oxygen production plant and the same needing repair to restore production to its capacity, according WHO’s report.
The agency further disclosed that hospitals in Zanzibar had to procure medical oxygen from commercial suppliers at expensive prices while noting that with technical and financial support from WHO, Zanzibar has since been able to restore production of medical oxygen at its sole plant at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital.
At the same time, Zanzibar’s Deputy Minister of Health Honorable Hassan Khamis Hafidh lauded the World Health Organization for the timely support to the people of Zanzibar while assuring that the equipment and supplies will be used as intended.
The Deputy Minister of Health acknowledged that collaboration with WHO has been and is very important in the ongoing improvements to the Zanzibar Archipelago health system.
“The equipment we received will progress current response efforts to the pandemic specifically critical care for COVID-19 patients, risk communication and community engagement. With this timely support, Zanzibar will be in a better position to fulfil its IHR obligations,” further said Hon. Hafidh.
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