27-11- 2021: Sanrai is very excited to announce the launch of the Oxygen Alliance, a charitable organization in partnership with Open O2 in Malawi, looking to improve access to oxygen therapies in low-middle income countries (LMICs) through supporting local businesses that sign and execute maintenance contracts for oxygen concentrators with hospitals, Ministries of Health, and other establishments.
Open O2 has repaired 622 oxygen concentrators servicing 57 hospitals and making over 5 million dollars worth of oxygen available through their efforts in Malawi. Sanrai has supported several small enterprises trying to repair oxygen concentrators in different countries. We have learned:
1. Oxygen is an essential product that will continue being in short supply in many settings like the ones we work in.
2. There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that double-burden countries have adequate oxygen supply. This oxygen supply is critical for treating patients during covid and beyond.
3. All concentrators need consistent service and maintenance to continue producing high purity oxygen. Since the equipment eventually breaks down, there is continual need for services like the one Open O2 provided in Malawi during the second and third wave of the pandemic in Malawi.
4. Malawi is not unique in its need for these services or the lack of sustainable solutions in meeting these needs.
We came together because while we individually tried to support different organizations in Africa and other places, a much more concerted effort is needed to help organizations doing similar work to Open O2 become sustainable businesses. The Oxygen Alliance aims to support and grow all organizations to sustainably perform maintenance for hospitals, governments, MOHs, etc.
The main Oxygen Alliance activities:
1. Concentrator Talk: Starting in January 2022, we will host open question and answer sessions to discuss various aspects of oxygen concentrator assessment and repair, hosted by biomedical engineers from Open O2 and Sanrai International.
2. Building a comprehensive multi-media library on all oxygen concentrators including low cost repairs, tricks, and hacks picked up along the way to assess and repair oxygen concentrators. This library will have service manuals, videos on how to repair parts that can be repaired instead of replaced, pictures, and shorter detailed guides specific to components.
3. Providing starter kits with tools and components to Alliance members. It is critical that high quality parts are used to do these repairs so they are long lasting repairs. For companies looking to begin repair work, investing in higher quality components and tools may be too difficult. The Alliance will provide an initial starter kit to members at a free or reduced cost.
4. Access to logistical/supply chain support. A key challenge in providing consistent maintenance is having a consistent supply of spare parts at a fixed cost. The Alliance will ensure access to low cost high quality components that are warehoused in several LMIC countries.
Please reach out if you are interested in joining or partnering with the Oxygen Alliance.
*This Press Release is published by team VOH*
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