Another oxygen plant launched

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Limpho Sello

PRIME Minster Moeketsi Majoro says the launch of an oxygen production plant at Motebang Hospital, Leribe will not only help the country in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic but also address other health issues.

Dr Majoro said this while officiating at the official launch of the oxygen plant over the weekend. This is the second government funded-plant after the one which he launched at Berea Hospital earlier this year.

The new oxygen plant was funded by the government to the tune of M 4 824 609, 50.

All in all, Lesotho now boasts of six oxygen plants. Another plant will be launched today at the Mafeteng Hospital.

The other plants are located at Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital, Maluti, Senkatana and Paray hospitals. Oxygen is administered to Covid-19 patients and others who experience difficulties in breathing on their own.

“The launch of this and other plants will contribute to the fight against Covid-19,” Dr Majoro said.

“The production of oxygen will also enable the continuation of other essential services which are currently limited due to inadequate oxygen supplies.

“This will lead to the overall improvement of healthcare services particularly in the areas of maternal, child health and theatre procedures.

“For many years, the Ministry of Health has been planning to upgrade Motebang Hospital to make it a regional hospital for the northern region. This dream can only be realised if the facility has a sustained oxygen supply.”

Dr Majoro said the Leribe plant has the capacity to produce 40 cylinders of oxygen per day. The launch of the facility and other plants will go a long way in easing oxygen shortages which reached crisis levels earlier this year when the country experienced an unprecedented surge of Covid-19 infections.

During that time, many of the Covid-19 deaths were attributed to the lack of oxygen to enable patients to breathe.

Last week, the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) said the oxygen situation had threatened to get out of control due to the spike in infections over the past few weeks. However, everything was now under control, NACOSEC Deputy CEO, Thabo Ntoi, said.

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