Botswana oxygen needs doubled due to COVID-19

A picture of Oxygen tanks, Patrick Meinhardt/Getty Images

Botswana has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, resulting in a number of patients requiring hospitalization and oxygen supply, an official said Friday.

During a parliament meeting in Gaborone, Edwin Dikoloti, Minister of Health and Wellness, stated that prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the country consumed approximately 100,000 kg of oxygen per month. “While at the peak of the pandemic in July 2021, we found ourselves needing around 200,000 kg of oxygen,” he said.

In an effort to prevent people from suffering and dying as a result of medical oxygen shortages, the health ministry immediately equipped all of its major facilities with adequate oxygen supplies by installing a 25-ton oxygen tank at the country’s COVID-19 high care hospital Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMTH) in the last week of July 2021.

Prior to the installation, SKMTH could only provide oxygen to 100 patients; now, they can provide oxygen to a total of 195 patients.

In an effort to assist the southern African country, the Chinese Embassy in Botswana also donated eight oxygen concentrators and 20 ventilators on Wednesday to Botswana.