This planning guide offers high-level guidance to ministries of health (MOHs), hospital administrators and managers in low- and middle-income countries, and relevant NGOs to plan steps for setting up a system of liquid oxygen (LOX) in hospitals. This resource was developed by the EpiC project in consultation with PATH and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) as a high-level tool to help take the first step in planning a facility-based LOX implementation journey, particularly for countries without previous experience with LOX systems. This guide is designed to be used in addition to other more technical, LOX-specific tools.
Medical oxygen is critical for the treatment of severe cases of COVID-19 and other life-threatening conditions such as severe pneumonia, severe malaria, sepsis, trauma, and complications of birth or pregnancy. While there are multiple modalities for oxygen delivery, this planning guide focuses on LOX because, depending on the context and setting, LOX can offer an affordable cost-per-liter option to deliver oxygen to facilities with sufficient demand (or pooled demand across facilities if distribution patterns allow), high purity of medical oxygen, and good elasticity in the face of fluctuating demand.