In a first, state-run primary health centre to get O2 plant
KOLKATA: For the first time in the state's history, a Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) medical oxygen generation plant is being set up at a state-run 40-bedded primary health centre in the remotest part of Malda district.
Usually, a PSA unit is installed in super specialty hospitals, district and sub-divisional hospitals that have at least 250 to 300 beds. Moulpur Rural Hospital at Old Malda block is the first primary health centre (PHC) in the state to get a PSA medical oxygen generation plant installed due to the initiative taken up by the district authorities.
If everything goes as planned, then three more PHCs in the districts will get the same facility. One of these centres is Harishchandrapur Rural Hospital, which is situated near Bihar border. Transportation of oxygen cylinders to this centre is a real challenge due to its remote location.
The two other centres, which will also get PSA oxygen generation plants, are Bangitola Rural Hospital and Manickchawk Rural Hospital.
The PSA unit at Moulpur Rural Hospital is coming up at an estimated cost of around Rs 27 lakh through a CSR programme. The unit has the capacity to produce 200 litre medical oxygen (of 93 to 96 per cent purity) in one atmospheric pressure. With the setting up of the PSA plants, the traditional oxygen cylinder mechanism will become a matter of the past. The work to install the plant has started and it will be made functional within a week.
Before taking up the task of installing PSA oxygen generation plants, the district administration has completed installation of a "medical gas pipeline system" in all the 18 PHCs – each having about 40 to 60 beds - in the district. With completion of its installation, all the beds (around 900) in these health centres will be connected with pipeline channels for supply of medical oxygen.
When contacted, District Magistrate of Malda Rajarshi Mitra said: "Basically this is a preparation considering the possibility of a third wave of the pandemic. It exemplifies a holistic approach towards development of the health care system. Every bed should have a pipeline connection for oxygen supply. It is also a life saving requirement even if there is no Covid situation."