We establish locally-operated oxygen centers that drastically improve oxygen availability, strengthen health systems, and save lives.

Why It Matters.

Medical Oxygen Is Saving Lives.

Medical oxygen is a life-saving medicine that treats a wide range of critical conditions. Unfortunately, in many low and middle-income countries worldwide, there is a severe lack of medical oxygen and training on the proper use of oxygen therapy. As a result, preventable deaths occur every day.

Pneumonia is the leading cause of death for children under-five – and oxygen alone can decrease pneumonia mortality by 20-40%.

Every minute around the world, 2 children under the age of 5 die from acute lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis. Many of these deaths could be prevented with better diagnostic treatment and access to oxygen therapy.

Low blood oxygen levels in children with respiratory infections make them 5x more likely to die than children with normal blood oxygen levels.

Women, newborns, and children are generally most affected by the lack of medical oxygen.
In East Africa, rural health facilities transport oxygen hundreds of miles to deliver a fraction of their need. Long transportation distances and few production facilities make oxygen costly and scarce.

We believe no child should die because of a lack of oxygen — and we have the solution.

Our Approach

Oxygen Production and Distribution Center

At the core of our solution is an oxygen production and distribution center.
Our solution is a comprehensive model of medical oxygen production, distribution, and training. Our focus is health system transformation by providing integrated solutions to each of the barriers faced in low-resource settings. At the core of our innovation is the establishment of an oxygen center as a social business enterprise, which would provide an underserved region with oxygen (each oxygen center produces approximately 22,680,000 liters of oxygen per month).
Our solution also involves building a sustainable oxygen ecosystem by providing evidence-based interventions that address the barriers that prevent patients from receiving oxygen therapy (listed in question 2). This includes: (i) clinical training for oxygen therapy and technical training for equipment maintenance and repair (ii) supply of oxygen therapy tools and equipment; (iii) monitoring and evaluation support; and (iv) context specific policy development and advocacy. These are explained more fully, below.
If requested, the AI team will also collaborate to develop a Social Business Enterprise (SBE) as an option to fund ongoing operations and maintenance. This option may include one or more of the following:
Collaborate with in-country and international partners to establish a locally-led business (SBE) to manage oxygen production, distribution, and sales.
Collaborative with local entities to develop a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) to form the SBE.
Funding for start-up operational expenses are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
Oversee warranty service, spare parts kit, and provide ongoing operational and maintenance support.
Mentor and support the SBE on best business practices (e.g., business plan, market analysis, delivery mechanisms, finances).

Our Impact.

Oxygen Center Establishment Worldwide

Along with our partners, we’ve established oxygen centers in Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. Each of these oxygen centers provides affordable, reliable oxygen to many health facilities. Our design ensures local ownership and long-term sustainability, creating lasting change.
In Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, oxygen hubs are located near rural areas and primarily serve public hospitals. In Ethiopia, one year after the program began, patients at the hub hospital were 50% less likely to die of pneumonia, and patients at primary hospitals surrounding the hub were 40% less likely to die of pneumonia.
In Rwanda, medical oxygen use increased by 1403% within two years at our host hospital located in Ruhengeri. Five years after the oxygen plant construction, the hospital consumes 1800% more oxygen monthly than at baseline. Hospitals surrounding the oxygen plants increased quarterly oxygen use by 220% on average in Rwanda.
Lack of oxygen access is a matter of life and death. Now is the time to transform the oxygen ecosystem by providing integrated solutions to the barriers facing low-resource health settings that will continue to save lives one breath at a time.


Impact Gallery

Assist International provides life-giving solutions for children, families, and communities around the world that bring health, opportunity, and hope.