Social impact organisations Give and PATH today announced the completion of their joint endeavour to install and commission 76 Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants in 22 states and union territories across India. The project was galvanised by the acute shortage of medical oxygen in India during the second wave of Covid-19, and was supported by a grant of INR 109 Crore (approximately US$15 million) from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm.
These plants strengthen the oxygen generation capacity of healthcare facilities in high-need and rural geographies to better serve the needs of thousands of patients, helping with medical surgeries and in the treatment of a range of respiratory conditions. Especially for health facilities in hard-to-reach areas – such as Kargil in Kashmir or the Sunderbans in West Bengal – this sustainable source of onsite oxygen generation empowers them to be self-sufficient and support a wider array of medical services that were once difficult due to a dependence on oxygen cylinders.
As part of the project, Give and PATH have also enabled training of approximately 3000 medical professionals, and sensitization of over 7000 stakeholders across government, nonprofits, and industry, in the appropriate and judicious use of the PSA oxygen plants.
Announcing project completion, Give CEO Atul Satija said: “During Covid’s second wave, while Give was working on the ground providing oxygen concentrators and cylinders to patients in need, we realised that what hospitals really required was access to oxygen throughout the year through oxygen generation plants. The Google.org grant was crucial in enabling Give and PATH to identify hospitals that would benefit most from the installation of such plants. These plants have provided hospitals the capacity to serve patients across over 20 states and union territories. When organisations such as Google place their trust in us, there is no limit to the impact that social sector organisations like ours can have.”
Sanjay Gupta, Country Head & Vice President, Google India, remarked: “Right at the outset of Covid-19, we prioritised making sure that people had the information and tools they needed to stay informed, connected, and safe. We also broadened our support to frontline organisations delivering critical and timely community support in India’s fight against Covid-19. As we emerge from the shadows of the pandemic, we’re very pleased that the Google.org grant has helped Give and PATH expand the self-sufficiency, equity, and sustainability of oxygen access in high-need healthcare facilities.”
Neeraj Jain, PATH’s Country Director for India, added: “PATH has been working in the field of respiratory care for almost a decade now. As the Covid-19 crisis hit India, we worked tirelessly to provide critical health systems to support multiple state governments and health facilities. With the help of Google.org, we helped more than 20 states and union territories scale up their oxygen generation capacity to ensure that everyone in need has access to oxygen therapy now and in the future, strengthening every step of their oxygen delivery process—from planning to delivery. This included assessing demand against the healthcare facility’s requirements, identifying gaps, procuring, and commissioning PSA plants, and developing roadmaps for strengthening oxygen systems, training health care workers, and building capacity for long-term sustainability.”
Sharing the sentiment of hospitals that benefited from the plants, Rethu Krishna of Nazareth Hospital, Meghalaya, said: “Our health facility was just not prepared to handle the burdens that accompanied the pandemic. With the availability of the PSA plant, the difficulties and financial cost of procuring medical oxygen for our facility has greatly reduced.”