The United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently donated US $2 million to support the Government of Jamaica’s (GOJ) drive to expand access to critical medical liquid oxygen (LOX).
This donation is a part of the U.S. Government’s broader support to Jamaica in its response to COVID-19 and will also prepare for future pandemic threats.
In response to the critical need for reliable medical oxygen for COVID-19 and other respiratory pandemics, USAID is helping to strengthen the availability and use of LOX in major public hospitals across the island.
“Jamaica is our neighbor, partner, and friend, and what affects one affects us all.,” said U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, Nick Perry. “The U.S. government heard and saw the need to strengthen Jamaica’s ability to provide and use liquid oxygen. I am happy that we are able to respond to this critical need, which will also help prepare and better position Jamaica to meet future critical health needs.”
LOX is the most affordable cost-per-liter option to deliver oxygen to high-demand facilities and has many benefits, including the ability to be safely transported and stored in large quantities; lower per-patient cost compared to oxygen in gas form, and the capacity to rapidly increase quantities for surges. LOX can also be compressed to fill cylinders to supply oxygen to smaller, outlying facilities.
The U.S. Government’s support will assist LOX infrastructure including efficient oxygen piping for key facilities, expansion of storage and installation at facilities with no LOX access, address safety and security issues at the facilities, and provide commodities and monitoring systems to track oxygen flow and usage. LOX support will be provided in eight high-burden hospitals and facilities.
To date, the US Government has donated over US $16.4 million to the GOJ in the fight against COVID-19.