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Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar inaugurates National Oxygen Stewardship Program

Newdelhi:22/12/21:Taking cognizance of the role of medical oxygen as a life-saving public health commodity and the need for capacity building of healthcare workers in handling of medical oxygen, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the National Oxygen Stewardship Program of the Union Health Ministry, at AIIMS New Delhi today.

The initiative aims to empower all healthcare workers engaged in Oxygen management and administration with the essential knowledge and skills to ensure rational utilization and avoid any wastage of medical Oxygen, especially in resource constraint settings. It envisages identifying and train at least one “Oxygen Steward” in each district across the country. These trained professionals would be responsible for leading the training on Oxygen therapy and management in their respective districts and also support an audit of oxygen delivery and preparedness for a surge scenario.

Addressing the occasion, Dr. Pawar said, “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.”

Detailing the Government’s efforts in ensuring increased oxygen availability, the Union Minister noted that “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 PM CARES 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.

Commenting on the Oxygen Stewardship Program, Dr. Pawarexpressed that 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 including issues faced during Oxygen crisis, learnings, and averting further crisis situations, she stated.

Dr. VK 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.

Shri Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary (Health) noted that the Covid-19 pandemic not only accelerated the demand for medical oxygen but also the need for its timely delivery. He highlighted that while the Union Government has supported the states in setting up and strengthening oxygen production and delivery mechanisms, variable gaps were observed in the training of professionals involved in the administration of oxygen. He emphasized that this workshop aims to “repurpose, re-orient and upskill the existing manpower” in order to make sure that any untoward incident arising due to the pandemic gets managed professionally without any undue stress on the systems.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.
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