In January 2016, we began operating an oxygen generator in Azaz district of Northern Aleppo.
The generator was established to address the deficiency of medical oxygen supplies in Aleppo province due to the repeated targetting of medical facilities in the region.
We decided to build the first plant that would have the capacity to generate oxygen continuously to dozens of facilities throughout Aleppo province. Currently the generator delivers oxygen on a daily basis to eleven medical facilities in Azaz district, as well as to the ambulance systems. The sudden access impediment between the Northern countryside and Aleppo city due to the cutting of the road below Azaz in February 2016 has for now prevented the distributability of oxygen to facilities in Aleppo city.
Every morning at our facility by the Turkish-Syrian border, the generator starts filling dozens of bottles with oxygen. Thirty bottles can be filled each hour and a half, and the generator runs for about 5 hours a day. The bottles are then loaded onto vehicles destined for the hospitals who require it.
Oxygen, the gas of life, is a basic need for children’s hospitals, incubators, ambulances and intensive care units (ICUs). The consequences of a shortage in supply are immediately life-threatening. A shortage of oxygen for the newborns can cause hypoxia and mental retardation. The medical situation in Northern Aleppo remains precarious and vulnerable to rapid changes, yet in the face of ongoing challenges Aleppo province’s only oxygen generator is still running to save lives.