Low blood oxygen, or hypoxemia, is a life-threatening condition contributing to approximately 825,000 deaths annually in developing countries. Oxygen therapy could prevent many of these deaths. Unfortunately, access to oxygen in many developing countries has been neglected for decades and use is limited by poor diagnosis and unreliable oxygen supplies. Increasing hypoxemia treatment rates therefore requires three coordinated interventions: 1) improving hypoxemia diagnosis in referral and primary facilities, 2) extending access to reliable oxygen at referral facilities and high-functioning primary facilities, and 3) strengthening referral systems at primary facilities without oxygen. Over the last three years, we have worked with governments in five high-burden countries to create national oxygen strategies, pilot and refine our solution, and set the stage for scale-up. By pursuing these steps at scale and driving improved hypoxemia management in these five countries, we can halve their annual hypoxemia-related mortality by 2025—averting approximately 40,000 deaths annually.
Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc.website: https://clintonhealthaccess.org/
Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity
CHAI is marshaling its expertise in oxygen delivery systems to help global and national COVID-19 response efforts rapidly expand access to critical respiratory care services—including oxygen therapy. CHAI is supporting global efforts, led by the World Health Organization, to source oxygen therapy equipment for low-income countries and is working directly with partner governments on national supply planning, rapid health facility capacity assessments, equipment allocation, and health-worker training. Potential changes to the initial proposal in response to the pandemic include: 1) supporting response planning and post-response implementation to ensure COVID-19 investments lead to durable improvements in respiratory care capacity and 2) expanding the program’s scope to help additional countries leverage pandemic response funding to expand access to oxygen. New risks related to the pandemic include: 1) increased strain on health systems—and potential health-worker shortages, 2) a large, short-term increase in donor funding for equipment procurement without planning for maintenance and operational expenses, and 3) potential political and economic instability.
Racial and Ethnic Injustice Response
CHAI’s mission—to ensure that everyone, no matter where they live or the circumstances of their birth, has access to quality, affordable health services—is guided by our commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion. We pursue this mission in over 35 countries and our staff, drawn from the communities we serve, strive to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable patients by tackling seemingly intractable, neglected global health problems. Oxygen has been taken for granted in high-income countries for decades and its continued inaccessibility in low-income countries helps perpetuate longstanding disparities in health outcomes between many African, Asian, and Latin American countries and their European and North American peers. By closing the oxygen access gap, we will take one more step toward a world where all people have the opportunity to reach their full potential.