Oxygen for the Community

As we talked about in a previous post, the pandemic has caused a lot of damage and destruction in Nepal and overwhelmed the hospital system, especially when it comes to life-saving resources like oxygen. As part of our emergency support, the foundation along with the larger community, both local and  global, worked towards addressing this critical need. In August, the much-awaited oxygen plant of Manmohan Community Hospital officially was put into service. Although the oxygen plant was producing oxygen from August 2, the Bagmati State government and the hospital officially inaugurated the oxygen plant on August 13.

During the second wave of COVID-19 infections, which started in late April, the Pharping region faced an acute oxygen shortage. Because of this, many people lost their lives unfortunately. Manmohan Community Hospital, a partner organization of the foundation, had to treat COVID patients without adequate oxygen and the patients themselves were responsible to bring the oxygen cylinders to the hospital. The community hospital and other stakeholders held several discussions on how to address the shortage of oxygen. The unanimous decision was that the hospital needs to have its own oxygen plant for the current and future COVID crises and other respiratory diseases. However, finding sufficient funds was the major issue. 

From late May of 2021, a drive to raise funds to purchase the oxygen plant was launched. Our foundation was proud to support and provided an initial amount to help secure the contracts for the plant. We are so grateful to our donors, supporters, staff, and board members that made this possible. The support for this project goes well beyond us though as we had tremendous support of other like-minded organizations and even individuals locally and globally who care about this community. Through this collective effort, we were able to meet the needs of the campaign. The project also got a boost of momentum from various local government entities in Nepal and there are amazing stories of community members of all ages donating for the cause.

For example, a local school boy, Aaryogya donated 7007 Rupees of his money to the hospital with a note saying “I will buy a bike next year, but this year I will give money for the Oxygen Plant;” Photo credit: Manmohan community hospital)

Workers unloading the plant in order to install.

(The oxygen plant of the hospital started producing oxygen from August 2)

(COVID ward of the hospital has 5 beds and all of which are currently occupied)

The plant has the capacity to provide oxygen for 25 patients simultaneously. When not run on a full capacity, the refill plant (also called booster plant which is on its way from Shanghai, China) will be utilized to refill portable oxygen cylinders. Once the refill plant comes to operations, the people from remote areas of southern Kathmandu, northern Makwanpur and southern Lalitpur will no longer have to travel to Central Kathmandu to refill their portable oxygen cylinders. This will save a considerable amount of time for patients and potentially save lives. 

(Staff of the hospital collecting portable oxygen cylinders: These cylinders will be refilled and sent to the homes who will not be able to come to the hospital. Photo Credit: Manmohan community hospital)

About Nabin Aryal

Dr. Nabin Aryal led the foundation’s work in Nepal from the inception till April 2015. He is now serving as a special adviser from his new home in Myanmar where he works with the US and Nepal Teams to provide strategic guidance for the foundation. He received a PhD in Economics from Hitotsubashi University and has been managing NGO programs in underdeveloped areas in Nepal, India and Sri Lanka and has extensive experience in grassroots development efforts.
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