National Policy on Medical Oxygen in Health Facilities
Globally, oxygen therapy has been used in medicine for nearly a century. Yet, Nigeria still faces a staggering burden of deaths due to lack of access to oxygen. In Nigeria, more than 625,000 deaths annually occur due to diseases associated with hypoxaemia---insufficient oxygen in the blood or low blood oxygen saturation. In children, hypoxaemia is a major
fatal complication of pneumonia, accounting for 120,000 under-5 deaths in Nigeria per year. Evidence from secondary health facilities in Nigeria also show that 25% of neonates and 12% of under-5 children admitted to hospital with pneumonia are hypoxaemic on admission.
In Nigeria, as in other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, lack of access to oxygen and pulse oximeters—non-invasive WHO-recommended devices for screening for hypoxaemia—can be attributed to a host of prevailing conditions that this policy sets to address. In particular, the absence of an enabling environment in terms of coordinated policies and regulations, as well as fragmented supply and distribution systems for oxygen and oxygen delivery systems worsen facility-level barriers to oxygen access for patients. Moreover, the absence of clinical governance structures to ensure hypoxaemia cases are recognized and appropriately treated, and the paucity of comprehensive data on oxygen supply landscapes and clinical practice, contribute to putting hypoxaemic patients in Nigeria at risk.
This National Policy on Medical Oxygen in health facilities in Nigeria therefore seeks to lay the foundation for sub-national policies, for a national strategy for the scale-up of oxygen, and for clinical guidelines on oxygen therapy that taken together will improve access to life-saving oxygen, a drug on the WHO list of essential medicines.
Aug 07, 2019
Aug 07, 2019
May 15, 2019
Ministry of Health
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