On Thursday, Somalia opened its first public oxygen plant; a lifesaving treatment for the coronavirus that has been largely unavailable to patients during the pandemic.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Global demand for medical oxygen surged and many countries experienced desperate shortages.
The $240,700 new plant in Mogadishu, purchased from Turkey by the Hormuud Salaam Foundation will be installed at the Banadir Maternity and Children Hospital.
“One cylinder of oxygen usually costs around $50 in Somalia but can reach up to $400 or $500 (at private hospitals) because of the shortage,” said Abdullahi Nur Osman, CEO of Hormuud’s foundation.
He said the oxygen will be distributed among the public hospitals in the capital Mogadishu free of charge.
According to the World Health Organisation, Somalia as of Wednesday, had reported nearly 20,000 COVID-19 cases and 1,100 deaths.
Only 1% of Somalia’s 15 million citizens are fully vaccinated.