The Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge Hospital) is now producing its own oxygen on a large scale.
The facility, as a result, no longer buys oxygen for its Covid-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) but produces every quantity within the hospital.
The Medical Director at the Hospital, Dr Emmanuel Srofenyo, revealed how the hospital spent so much every week to purchase the lifesaving commodity for its patients in the Covid-19 ICU.
“We did not have the pipes that lead from the oxygen plant to other sides. So we were spending ¢25,000 weekly, and it was a stretch on our finances,” Dr Srofenyo noted.
This does not mean the hospital did not already have an oxygen plant. It did. But was unable to supply oxygen to other units in the hospital because of how it was constructed.
According to Dr Srofenyo, “…so the idea came that why don’t we just do it his way so that it can supply the holding centre and also the covid-19 ICU itself.”
This resulted in a two-month work which saw the laying of a ¢314,000, 350-meter pipe from the old oxygen plant to a new one. This has enabled the plant to produce its own oxygen.
Here’s how it is done, as explained by Matthew Quaidoo of Rikair, who supervised the construction of the pipe “it takes in the air, purifies it and then generates the oxygen. Once it does that, it goes through the extension of the pipes and into each of the three plants in the hospital.”
Mr Quaidoo further stated that this purified oxygen then goes through the pipes laid into the hospitals’ units.
At that point, the flow meters are plugged in so that everyone who needs the oxygen can be supplied. At the moment, the Hospital will be filling about 300 cylinders daily. Now, that’s enough to give some to other health facilities.
Chair of the covid-19 Trust Fund, Sophia Akuffo, who commissioned the new oxygen unit noted the gesture was in response to a request made by the hospital managers and not a national project.
She, however, asked health facilities in need of similar projects to contact the Trust Fund. Commenting on the rise in numbers of covid-19 cases in the country, madam Akuffo noted how concerned the Trust was, mostly because it does not have adequate funds in its account to assist persons or groups who may need help should the trend continues.
“We’ve been helping in so many ways, but we are now concerned because if we get a high increase rate of infection, it will be difficult for us to manage as effectively as we were able to do last year.
“Elaborating further, she noted, ‘last year we were able to distribute food items to orphanages, the aged and communist. We’re also able to give lots of materials and monies to the testing centre,” he said.
She, therefore, reminded everyone to continue adhering to the safety protocols because if the same level of need comes up, “it will be difficult for us to assist unless funds come in.”