The construction of a $1.7m medical oxygen production plant at Kitwe Teaching Hospital in the Copperbelt province, Zambia, has begun. The facility will be procured and constructed by UNOPS with financial support from Sweden and UNICEF.
The project consists of design and technical services, oxygen plant building works, installation of a 130kVA backup generator and construction of its shed. Additionally, the project comprises the installation of power correction stabilizers and a duplex PSA oxygen plant.
The duplex PSA plant is set to produce 5000-6000 litres of oxygen per day unless closed down for maintenance. However, the facility will be able to operate 24/7, as one of its two generators can continue the production of oxygen while the other one is under maintenance.
Lastly, as part of the project plant operators will be trained on basic maintenance and operations of the medical oxygen production plant at Kitwe Teaching Hospital. This is in a bid to ensure sustainability. of the facility.
The entire project will be implemented over a period of twelve months ending in May 2024.
Expectations for the medical oxygen production plant at Kitwe
Once operational the facility according to the Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo will assist reinforce measures to advance medical services in the country. The immediate beneficiaries of the project are 5 districts in Copperbelt province.
These districts are served by Kitwe Teaching Hospital and 42 health centres in Kitwe district. Of the 42 health centres, 16 are for basic emergency obstetric and newborn care providing access to quality oxygen.
Speaking during the project’s groundbreaking ceremony, the Minister of Health, Ms Sylvia T. Masebo said that the government with help from stakeholders will build capacity in health workers to ensure safe admission of oxygen to patients.