New medical oxygen plant installed in Bent Baya Hospital. Photo: ©UNDP Libya/Ali Alshaarif

Bent Baya, 19/March/2021 – In coordination with the Ministry of Health, and with support from 13 international partners and the Government of Libya, UNDP’s Stabilization Facility for Libya completed the final inspections, testing, training and commissioning of the new medical oxygen plant installed in Bent Baya Hospital.

Starting in December 2020 with a value of US$400,000, the project included civil works as well as supply and installation of medical oxygen equipment. With a capacity of 48.4 m3/ hour, one of the biggest production in Libya, the plant will cover the oxygen needs of four municipalities in the South (Sebha, Bent Baya, Ubari and Murzuk) and other surrounding municipalities such as Ghat. The plant has been installed at Bent Baya Hospital, which was designated by the Ministry of Health as the facility to attend urgent cases of COVID-19 in the area. The hospital created an isolation center with a capacity of 30 beds, six intensive care units, and 30 cylinders. Since it started to operate in July 2020, the center has attended 601 patients, including 183 with COVID-19 positive results. However, it didn’t have the capacity to provide the patients with oxygen therapy. This project was designed with the aim of covering part of the urgent needs of equipment to response to COVID-19.

The handover ceremony took place in the presence of Ben Baya Mayor, Mr. Ashraf Al-Musleh, other municipal members, directors of nearby hospitals and several local officials and NGO representatives.

“We are witnessing a real achievement that will contribute to saving lives and will serve several municipalities in the south region of Libya. Providing oxygen today means saving the lives of many people affected by Covid-19 in the Ben Baya isolation center, and in other health centers in the area,” said Mayor Al-Musleh.

The Director of Bent Baya Hospital, Mr. Abdul Qadir Muhammad Ghaith, stated: “The oxygen plant solves the biggest challenge to tackle COVID-19 in the south of Libya.”

 For his part, Dr. Abdel Moneim Al-Kumaisha, representative of the International Cooperation Office at the Ministry of Health, said: "The region was suffering from the lack of oxygen and was getting it from Tripoli, Gharyan and Misrata. Shipments were delayed due to the distance and the high fuel prices. With this project, UNDP, through SFL supported the health sector and the infrastructure for the provision of better services in Libya."

UNDP Libya Resident Representative, Mr. Gerardo Noto, affirmed: “The oxygen plant is key to support authorities tackle COVID-19. Serving the people of Libya is our main priority. We are completely dedicated to ensuring the safe, efficient, and effective delivery of our projects, but also, since the beginning of the pandemic we have realigned our support to meet emerging priorities in the country, such as supporting national and local institutions to strengthen their health systems to respond to COVID-19.”

The provision of this medical Oxygen plant will decrease the costs and efforts required for patients to obtain vital medical services far away from their communities. It will reduce the patients travels to Sebha or further cities in search of healthcare, something critical for urgent cases.

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For more information, or media interviews please contact: Hilaria.espin@undp.org

 

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