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Oxygen is essential for human life and has no substitute. Its importance was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic by the many patients who had difficulty breathing. Medical oxygen is used in many different settings, such as intensive care units, operating rooms, delivery rooms, and during emergency transport.
The Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) new global health initiative, Africa Infrastructure Relief and Support (AIRS), will ensure the availability of medical oxygen to patients in the Gambia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, made possible by a $5.5 million grant from Direct Relief and in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Global Alliance of Perioperative Professionals (GAPP) and the Institute of Global Perioperative Care. Officials in the Gambia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will identify specific medical oxygen-related needs, including hospital-based infrastructure, oxygen-generating plants, and solar energy. SCCM plans to eventually expand the initiative to additional countries.