The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says the Federal Government plans to establish 100 oxygen generation plants across the country to ensure oxygen sufficiency.
He said this on Tuesday in Abuja, during the 17th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration scorecard series where he featured.
According to Ehanire, before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there were less than 30 functional oxygen plants in the country and the pandemic gave rise to the need for oxygen sufficiency.
He said that many responses to the pandemic came with certain benefits which included the activation of old, moribund oxygen plants and the establishment of new ones.
Ehanire said that some of the responses to the pandemic prompted the setting up and revamping of facilities which were not existent before such as isolation centres and treatment facilities across the country for different diseases.
He added that the Federal Government established molecular laboratories at every federal tertiary hospital, constructed and equipped 10 bedded intensive care units and isolation units in every tertiary hospital.
“ We realised in the course of COVID-19 the importance of oxygen, and that the oxygen plants we had in the country before were less than 30, with many of them not functional, so the first thing we did was to get support to activate the existing oxygen plants and to build new ones.
“The Federal Government built one oxygen plant per state in every one of the federal institutions and later on we were able to get funding from Global Fund and UNICEF to further build more.
“Today we have over 90 oxygen generation plants from less than about 30 functional ones before and we are going to have one oxygen generating plant in every senatorial zone so that we have over 100 functional oxygen plants.
“This is so that oxygen is available throughout the country and we have full oxygen sufficiency both for private and public hospitals and even for Primary Health Care (PHC) centres across the country and the question of oxygen not being available will be a thing of the past.”
On the containment of the pandemic, he said the Federal Government, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), took several proactive actions to vaccinate Nigerians.
This was to achieve the immunity required to interrupt COVID-19 community transmission in the country.
He added that COVID-19 safe and effective requirements were procured and Nigerians across all six geopolitical zones were sensitised to the need to avail themselves for complete doses of the vaccines.
According to him, as at January, 63.5 million of total eligible population target for COVID-19 vaccination are fully vaccinated while 12.1 million of total eligible population target for COVID-19 vaccination are partially vaccinated.
The minister also said the Federal Government had operationalised the gateways of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF), having received and disbursed over N101 billion to over 7, 600 PHC facilities across the country as at October 2022.