Oxygen Commitment at Clinton Global Initiative Meet

Another step closer to oxygen for all with launch of new partnership in Ethiopia

Last year, an idea was born to create a collective action on bridging the massive gap between the need for medical oxygen and its provision at the Pneumonia Innovations Summit. Dr. Bernard Olayo from CPHD was recognized for the pioneering work in this field through the set up of a public-private partnership with the government in Western Kenya. This week, at the Clinton Global Initiative, a new commitment was launched in United for Oxygen’s fight against pneumonia by making oxygen available and accessible, starting with Ethiopia in its first year of implementation. 

United for Oxygen brings together partners the government, industry, foundation, development agencies and civil society organizations. Center for Public Health and Development (CPHD), which will support this endeavor, envisions a day when oxygen will be accessible for all those who need it, instead of the handful of critically ill and surgical patients.

The setting up of Hewa Tele had marked the first public-private partnership (PPP) in oxygen manufacture and distribution in the sub-Saharan region. Hewa Tele is a social enterprise developed to create a sustainable business model to ensure this essential drug is available even in hard to reach areas. The first Hewa Tele oxygen plant was set up in Siaya, Western Kenya, along with GE Foundation, Assist International, the Siaya Government and frog Design.

Today, the plant has been successful in reaching remote areas not just in the Siaya county, but in more than 6 other counties. This has enabled small health centers to put into action to provide oxygen facilities, which had till recently remained out of reach for most health facilities.

Speaking at the launch of the Ethiopia commitment this week, Chelsea Clinton said oxygen is “life-central and life-saving”. This is specially relevant for sub-Saharan Africa which is fighting against high number of maternal, neonatal and child deaths. With the support of new strategic partners and Global Development Incubator (GDI), CPHD hopes to scale up Hewa Tele within Kenya and elsewhere in the region to multiply the impact it has had so far.