The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) welcomes the World Health Organization’s Executive Board announcement that it will recommend the Access to Medical Oxygen Resolution is adopted at this year’s World Health Assembly in May 2023.
The announcement marks a major milestone, aided by partners in the journey to deliver medical oxygen to everyone who needs it and eliminating preventable deaths caused by a shortage of oxygen.
The resolution urges countries to undertake 20 actions to scale up access to medical oxygen, including:
- Ensuring medical oxygen and associated medical devices are on national lists of essential medicines and medical devices
- Developing national medical oxygen plans
- Assessing and monitoring oxygen access gaps
- Raising public awareness about the life-saving role of medical oxygen
CHAI believes that no one, no matter where they live, should die for lack of oxygen, a condition we can diagnose easily, treat affordably and prevent globally. Yet in many countries, particularly in Africa, but also parts of Asia and South America, a shortage of oxygen has created a health equity crisis. It is estimated that a lack of medical oxygen leads to a million preventable deaths a year, including 650,000 children.
Along with all members of the Every Breath Counts Coalition, we are now calling on World Health Organization Member States to support the Access to Medical Oxygen Resolution in May 2023.
To find out more about CHAI’s work supporting countries to improve their medical oxygen supplies click here.