Union Health Ministry has inaugurated the National Oxygen Stewardship Program at AIIMS New Delhi to empower healthcare workers engaged in oxygen management and administration with the essential knowledge and skills to ensure rational utilisation and avoid any wastage of medical oxygen, especially in resource constraint settings. Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the programme.
The programme envisages identifying and train at least one Oxygen Steward in every district of India. These trained professionals would be responsible for leading the training on oxygen therapy and management in their respective districts and support audit of oxygen delivery and preparedness for a surge scenario. “Oxygen is life-saving and critically important in the treatment of several illnesses, not just Covid-19. The country witnessed an increased oxygen demand during the pandemic. Hence, the rational use of oxygen has become mandatory and need of the hour,” said Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar.
The Government of India has sanctioned more than 1,500 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants of which 1,463 have been commissioned; the plants include 1,225 PSA plants installed and commissioned under the PM CARES Fund in every district of the country. The states have also been asked to install PSA plants in public health facilities and facilitate installation of PSA plants in private health facilities, said the union minister.
Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog underscored that resource constraint is faced by all countries, but it is important that the available resources are used prudently. Towards this effort, he lauded this initiative for its focus on ensuring efficiency in oxygen administration. He also highlighted the recently launched Oxycare dashboard as another important initiative towards oxygen administration.