Aden, Yemen – The World Health Organization (WHO) has joined efforts with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group and the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP) to construct 14 new oxygen production stations that will save more lives from the COVID-19 pandemic in Yemen.
The oxygen production stations, valued at over US$3.4 million, are being constructed in 11 southern governorates of Yemen and will be gradually put into operation between December 2021 and February 2022. The oxygen stations will be jointly managed and implemented by the MoPHP and WHO, and are financed through a US$20 million loan from IsDB Group, as part of its Emergency Support for the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan in Yemen. Through this support, the IsDB has also contributed to the substantial upgrading of operational capacities of 32 COVID-19 treatment centers and central public health laboratories across the country.
“The availability of uninterrupted oxygen supply is key to the survival of patients with severe cases of COVID-19 who otherwise face lung failure,” said Dr. Adham Rashad Ismail Abdel Moneim, the WHO Representative in Yemen. “This is why the construction of these oxygen stations is one of the most important things we can do to save the lives of many more patients suffering from COVID-19.”
“Through this Project, the IsDB seeks to support the Republic of Yemen to overcome the humanitarian, social and economic difficulties that continue to threaten poverty alleviation efforts and disease control, particularly COVID-19,” said Dr. Ilker Ersegun Kayhan, the IsDB Operations Team Leader for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries and Yemen.
“By increasing local capacity to produce medical oxygen, we can help to minimize COVID-19 morbidity and mortality rates in Yemen,” said Dr. Kayhan. “This is the first time that such a high number of plants will produce oxygen of medical grade, to support COVID-19 case management in partnership with the WHO, the MoPHP, and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MoPIC).”
Yemen is facing urgent challenges in securing oxygen supplies that are critical to effective management of severe cases of COVID-19. The installation of 14 new oxygen production stations will strongly reinforce other efforts underway by WHO, the MoPH and IsDB to save lives and contain the spread of COVID-19 – including provision of essential medicines and supplies, personal protection equipment (PPE) and other medical equipment and technologies that are critical to Infection Prevention and Control and COVID-19 case management.