UNICEF Donates Solar-Powered Oxygen Plant To Oyo State

By Alice Etuka, Abuja

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has handed over the world’s first fully solar-powered Pressure Swing Adsorption Oxygen Gas Plant to the Jericho Specialist Hospital, Ibadan in Oyo State.

This was contained in a statement issued by UNICEF on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.

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According to the statement, the oxygen has plant, created by Em-One, emerged as the winner of UNICEF’s innovation challenge and was funded by the Government of Norway and other partners.

The Fund also hinted that, alongside Oyo State, another fully solar-powered plant would soon be handed over in Kano state, showcasing a revolutionary approach to sustainable healthcare.

The oxygen generation plant is designed to provide a consistent and adequate supply of oxygen to the hospital, essential for patients with respiratory issues, post-surgical patients, those in intensive care, and others needing supplemental oxygen.

By producing oxygen on-site using solar power, the hospital can reduce its dependency on external suppliers, resulting in greater autonomy, cost efficiency, and minimized risk of supply chain disruptions, ensuring continuous patient care.

UNICEF further disclosed that, the solar-powered oxygen plant offers numerous benefits:

“It provides a reliable energy source, reducing the risk of treatment interruptions due to power outages. The use of solar energy significantly lowers operational costs, freeing up resources for other essential healthcare needs.

“Additionally, solar power is an environmentally sustainable choice, aligning with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. Furthermore, these energy solutions can be replicated and scaled to other locations, expanding the reach of these life-saving oxygen plants”, it said.

In addition to the oxygen plant, UNICEF also furnished an advanced Level-2 newborn unit in the same hospital. This facility will provide specialised medical attention and care for small and/or sick newborns with severe complications.

The unit will be supported by oxygen produced from the plant, enhancing the hospital’s capacity to provide comprehensive care for these vulnerable patients. The newborn unit is funded by generous contributions from The Gates Foundation.

“On behalf of UNICEF, I am proud to inaugurate this pioneering solar-powered oxygen plant in Oyo State. This innovative solution, made possible through our partnership with the Government of Norway and the ingenuity of Em-One, marks a significant advancement in our mission to provide reliable and sustainable healthcare solutions. This plant will ensure that children and other patients receive uninterrupted, life-saving oxygen,” said Ms. Cristian Munduate, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.

Expressing his appreciation for the donation, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde said:

“The handover of this state-of-the-art Oxygen Gas Plant is a monumental achievement for Oyo State. We deeply appreciate the efforts of UNICEF, IHS Towers, and the Governments of Canada and Norway. This is in line with the Oyo States’ Omituntun 2.0 commitment to ensuring that every citizen has access to quality healthcare. This plant will significantly enhance our capacity to provide essential medical care, ensuring our healthcare system’s resilience and sustainability”.

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