LSTM Home > LSTM Research > LSTM Online Archive

The development and implementation of an oxygen treatment solution for health facilities in low and middle-income countries

Howie, Stephen RC, Ebruke, Bernard E, Gil, Mireia, Bradley, Beverley, Nyassi, Ebrima, Edmonds, Timothy, Boladuadua, Sainimere, Rasili, Senimili, Rafai, Eric, Mackenzie, Grant, Cheng, Yu Ling, Peel, David, Vives-Tomas, Joan and Akramuzzaman, SyedMohd (2020) 'The development and implementation of an oxygen treatment solution for health facilities in low and middle-income countries'. Journal of global health, Vol 10, Issue 2, 020425.

A0425_Howie FINAL.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (3MB) | Preview


Oxygen reduces mortality from severe pneumonia and is a vital part of case management, but achieving reliable access to oxygen is challenging in low and middle-income country (LMIC) settings. We developed and field tested two oxygen supply solutions suitable for the realities of LMIC health facilities.

A Health Needs Assessment identified a technology gap preventing reliable oxygen supplies in Gambian hospitals. We used simultaneous engineering to develop two solutions: a Mains-Power Storage (Mains-PS) system consisting of an oxygen concentrator and batteries connected to mains power, and a Solar-Power Storage (Solar-PS) system (with batteries charged by photovoltaic panels) and evaluated them in health facilities in The Gambia and Fiji to assess reliability, usability and costs.

The Mains-PS system delivered the specified ≥85% (±3%) oxygen concentration in 100% of 1-2 weekly measurements over 12 months, which was available to 100% of hypoxaemic patients, and 100% of users rated ease-of-use as at least ‘good’ (90% very good or excellent). The Solar-PS system delivered ≥85% ± 3%) oxygen concentration in 100% of 1-2 weekly measurements, was available to 100% of patients needing oxygen, and 100% of users rated ease-of-use at least very good.

Costs for the systems (in US dollars) were: PS$9519, Solar-PS standard version $20 718. The of oxygen for a standardised 30-bed health facility using 1.7 million litres of oxygen per year was: for cylinders 3.2 cents (c)/L in The Gambia and 6.8 c/L in Fiji, for the PS system 1.2 c/L in both countries, and for the Solar-PS system 1.5 c/L in both countries.

The oxygen systems developed and tested delivered high-quality, reliable, cost-efficient oxygen in LMIC contexts, and were easy to operate. Reliable oxygen supplies are achievable in LMIC health facilities like those in The Gambia and Fiji.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WF Respiratory System > WF 100 General works
WF Respiratory System > WF 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Education
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Paula Harding
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2021 12:46
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2021 12:46


View details

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item