New Delhi: The Centre is planning to identify and train at least one ‘Oxygen Steward’ in each district across the country amid rising Omicron scare.
The initiative aims to empower all 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.
These trained professionals would be responsible for leading the training on Oxygen therapy and management in their respective districts and also 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 Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr Bharti Pravin Pawar while inaugurating the National Oxygen Stewardship Programme on Wednesday.
Commenting on the programme, Dr. Pawar said, “It will enhance the skills of our healthcare workers in Oxygen therapy with necessary focus on essential knowledge and skills. This will also train our participants to avoid wastage or overuse of oxygen in resource constraint settings.”
Detailing the Government’s efforts in ensuring increased oxygen availability, the Union Minister said: “Government of India has sanctioned more than 1500 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants of which 1463 have been commissioned which include, 1225 PSA plants which have been installed and commissioned under PMCARES 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, she added.
Dr. V.K. 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.