Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen is life saving for many children with pneumonia or other respiratory problems, and it is a tool that ideally should be available in all small hospitals worldwide. This is rarely the case. Ensuring the availability and proper use of oxygen therapy is part of the technical assistance package offered by The Union's Child Lung Health Programme.

For example, The Union purchased and supplied oxygen concentrators for district hospitals throughout Malawi, where high-dependency areas for severely ill children have been set up. The introduction of this equipment was supported by training workshops and information tools.

Oxygen concentrators and the accompanying training/information package were also supplied to hospitals in Benin and Sudan that participated in the Comprehensive Approach to Lung Health Project.

In addition to the provision of oxygen therapy, it is important to be able to accurately identify those patients who require oxygen therapy and are most likely to benefit, especially when resources are limited. The combination of introducing oximetry and oxygen therapy in the management of children with severe pneumonia in high-burden setting shows clear benefit in improving outcome and cost-effectiveness.