Awka-The newly built, multi million naira medical oxygen plant in Awka, can meet demands from health institutions in the South East, a top Government functionary says.

Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, Managing Director, Anambra State Oxygen Production Plant told newsmen in Awka on Aug. 7, that the plant would be capable of producing 200 standard oxygen cylinders daily.

The plant, the current biggest in the South East, was built primarily to meet local demands from medical installations in Anambra that were always in need of it to save life.

It is in a bid to ensure that emergency situations and many challenging health conditions of Ndi Anambra are met that informed the building of the plant.”

Dr Ibezim said that installation had been strategically sited within the premises of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Amaku, Awka.

Oxygen is important to the human body, especially in cases of trauma as a result of accidents, contraction during labour or severe asthma, when certain levels of oxygen will be needed to resuscitate victims.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) standard sets that you just don’t administer oxygen from air; you need to give a certain percentage of oxygen to assist in the revival process.

Oxygen content is set at 93 per cent purity, plus or minus 3, which means the content must not get below 90 per cent or above 96.

You find out that the oxygen is not usually available in many health facilities in third world countries and that it why Gov. Willie Obiano thought it wise to ensure that this scare commodity is available to save life in medical centres in Anambra and environs,” he explained.

Dr Ibezim, who doubles as Special Adviser to Governor on Indigenous Medicine and Herbal Practice, said that Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) proposed the plant since 2014.

According to him, the oxygen purity from this plant is assured, stressing that it will be distributed to all hospitals and primary health centres across the state.

The MD explained that the oxygen would be highly pressurised; it needs close monitoring to ascertain how it would circulate in the body because it was not meant for unregulated use.

He noted that Gov. Obiano had since directed that key medical personnel doctors, nurses and certain grades of health workers on emergency services be trained on how to administer it to save life.

Ibezim said that COOUTH had since commenced trial run of the oxygen and so far, no adverse reports had been received.

He assured on the quality of the oxygen, saying that it would be made available to all health facilities that require them in the state.

Dr Ibezim explained that the plant was automated, immediately the purity level drops, it stops filling the cylinders.

Those that produce this on commercial basis outside might not bother about this; but here we care, as it is about saving life and not really about profit-making.

We ensure that right oxygen is administered to patients. Government will regulate the price because when government has hand in a business, it’s all about price control.

Our cylinders are most modern and have its expiry date boldly inscribed on them in the production line,” he said.

The normal pressure is set at 300, but we have decided to fill at 200 leaving a margin of 100 as safety index.”

Source: Anambra State Government