Cameroon is currently planning to build oxygen production plants in each of its 10 regions. The news was disclosed by the Minister of Public Health (Minsanté) Manaouda Malachie during a press conference last week in Yaoundé. This plant aims to respond to the emergency, but also to significantly and sustainably strengthen the capacity of Cameroonian hospitals to treat patients and fight the coronavirus pandemic, we learn.
According to the Minsanté, all the first, second, and third category health facilities have already been supplied with oxygen therapy equipment while oxygen concentrators and mucus aspirators have been sent to district hospitals and medical centers. Thanks to the equipment distributed in the framework of the Covid-19 response strategy, health facilities’ capabilities and qualitative care have been improved.
Indeed, oxygen is used for Covid-19 patients affected by pneumonia but also for people suffering from chronic respiratory diseases. But currently, only the second annex building of the Yaoundé Central Hospital (Orca) has an oxygen production plant to meet the increased oxygen needs of Covid-19 patients.
This announcement comes amid fears of a third wave of the pandemic due particularly to the Delta variant. Identified for the first time in India, the Delta variant is a highly contagious form of the virus and it has already been reported in several African countries where confirmed cases are rapidly rising.
The government is highly worried about the prospect of this third wave while the population is still defiant of coronavirus vaccines, which are presented as the best ways to protect oneself against the highly contagious strains. According to official data, 300,000 residents have already received at least one dose of the two vaccines available in the country (AstraZeneca and Sinopharm). Officially, since March 6, 2020, when the first cases were reported, the country has already confirmed 81,871 positive cases and 1,332 Covid-19 related deaths.