Margo joins host Asha Tomlinson around 21 minutes in to discuss India's oxygen crisis amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. Margo explains that oxygen is an essential medicine used to treat a number of illnesses including pneumonia, a leading cause of death for children globally. However, an unexpected rise in COVID-19 cases, along with infrastructure, supply, and delivery issues, has led to patients in India and other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) dying from lack of oxygen.
Margo notes that a handful of manufacturers, all of which are located in G7 countries, dominate the medical oxygen market. While some companies have recently stepped up to help aid in the emergency response, more support is urgently required for programmes like the WHO-backed Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT Accelerator) to bring relief where it is needed.
Finally, Margo explains that the Access to Medicine Foundation, together with the Every Breath Counts Coalition, has called on G7 leaders to do more end the oxygen crisis. Needed actions include pushing medical oxygen companies to do more; financing the ACT Accelerator; and providing an immediate injection of 200 million USD to enable a quick response to the global oxygen shortage in LMICs.
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