Saturday, April 4, 2020

We need more Oxygen

The basics:
So, this post includes some medical info. If you want to skip all the reading, here are the basics. 

Tenwek needs to buy another Oxygen concentrator to support our patients. We need to move quickly to purchase and install it so we are ready for patients. I am asking for help to raise these needed funds. Through supporters and organizations, some funds have already been given/pledged, and we are moving forward to purchase the machine, THANK YOU. Funds are still needed to fulfill this commitment and for piping, installation, and renovations. 

Canadians- Donate through Into All The World, Go to
Please send me a message via e-mail ( or Facebook of the amount you have donated so I can direct the funds. Also, you can write Covid in the comments box. 

The Story:
Everywhere you turn these days is talk about COVID-19. Whether it be affected numbers, a salute to health care workers, the need for hospital beds, or the need for ventilators. As a Respiratory Therapist, I have never seen my profession and the work we do highlighted so much. 

Kenya is gearing up for this disease, our current count is 126 cases. The government here has put in place many measures to reduce the spread. Yet, hospitals are preparing for an influx. Tenwek is working together with the County who will care for many of these patients. At Tenwek in the last few weeks, we have been saying, “We are not scared. We are prepared.” So, we are working hard on those preparations. 

Tenwek wants to focus on the basics with OXYGEN. Not all patients who develop COVID-19 need hospital care. In fact, many will have mild symptoms. But of the ones who do need hospital care, not all need ICU care. This group of patients need oxygen to support them until they can recover, which can be provided by a mask connected to a flow meter that delivers the oxygen. 

The challenge is where does oxygen come from? This is a question I never asked when working in Canada - the answer was the wall - you plug in the flow meter and oxygen comes out. Here in Kenya, I have learned a little more about the process. Tenwek uses something called an oxygen concentrator - maybe you have seen a small one in someone’s home who is on home oxygen. The one we want to purchase is similar but on a much larger scale. This will work continually to produce oxygen for many patients. We can serve many patients with one concentrator. The hospital currently uses a few concentrators to provide for the hospital but they are at near capacity. A few weeks ago when we had many sick patients they could barely keep up. So we have decided we could really use another one as we expand. We are doing some renovations and will be increasing the number of beds in the hospital. There is a machine already in the country - we just need the funds to purchase it - will you help give funds to help us help these patients? Giving information is above. 

A few years ago we bought a new compressor to work with the Oxygen conentrator. 

Giving Oxygen can sometimes be added to by creating a simple CPAP device for babies. 

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