Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has revealed plans by the Federal Government to establish oxygen plant at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Kano State.
The plan by government, when fulfilled, will reduce the exorbitant amount patients pay to get oxygen at the hospital. Ehanire, who hinted this during his visit to the hospital at the weekend, revealed efforts to ensure sufficient capacity to meet the oxygen demand in the hospital.
Part of the comprehensive plan was to link the hospital’s oxygen plan to the Liquefied Gas Pipe being channelled from Lagos through the Global Research Funds.
In the heat of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), in Kano, oxygen consumption hit all time high with not less than 100 cylinders taken daily, a source in the hospital confirmed.
With almost 80 cylinders of six cubic feet daily and 20 cylinders of 1.5 cubic feet as back-up, the management spends between N1.3 million and N1.4 million at 40 per cent discount monthly on oxygen, The Guardian gathered.
For instance, 15 cylinders of oxygen are regularly stationed at Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and special baby care unit while 20 cylinders are deployed to the two emergency units. Ten cylinders are at the dedicated COVID-19 isolation centre at the hospital, while others are spread across areas of urgent need.
According to the hospital source, adults pay about N500 per hour and minors pay N250 per hour – a cost many find difficult to sustain.
A statement issued by the Assistant Director (Information) at the hospital, Hauwa Abdullahi, noted that the minister went round several wards in the hospital, including the 20-bed COVID-19 isolation ward and the recently commissioned ICU.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof. Abdurrahman Sheshe, and top management of AKTH, including the Director of Administration of Dala Orthopaedic Hospital, Alhaji Nasir Harazimi, and that of Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Birnin Kudu, Alhaji Mu’azu Muhd, reportedly received him.