MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s first public oxygen plant opened on Thursday, purchased by the country’s leading telecommunications company, Hormuud, sparking a ray of hope for the war-torn nation where COVID-19 treatment has been largely unavailable to patients during the pandemic.
Hormuud Salaam Foundation, established by one of the telecoms giants in Somalia, Hormuud, purchased the new plant in Mogadishu for $240,700 from Turkey.
It came months after the war-torn country experienced desperate shortages that led to the death of dozens of Covid patients at hospitals in the capital and other areas of the country due to lack of oxygen.
The plant is due to be installed at the Banadir Maternity and Children Hospital, where the foundation has also funded the repair of its COVID-19 ward.
The oxygen will be distributed among the public hospitals in Mogadishu free of charge. Medical oxygen production requires experts to operate and maintain equipment, and reliable electricity and water supplies, which most public hospitals in the Somali capital do not have.
“One cylinder of oxygen usually costs around $50 in Siomalia but can reach up to $400 or $500 (at privately-owned hospitals) because of the shortage,” said Abdullahi Nur Osman, CEO of Hormuud’s foundation.
Somalia has so far reported 20,000 COVID-19 cases and 1,100 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
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