The Oxygen Crisis nobody talks about
More than half a million COVID-19 patients need oxygen therapy in low and middle income countries every day. Lack of oxygen has been costing hundreds of thousands of lives every year, even before the pandemic.

Help us develop an oxygen concentrator that solves the unique challenges of low-resource settings.
children died

in 2017. Most of these deaths were preventable. Compare this to the 3 million estimated excess deaths from COVID-19. 1

0 %
died of Pneumonia

or another lower respiratory disease in 2017. Pneumia is the leading cause of death for children below five and kills more than malaria, measles and diarrhoea combined. 2

children desperate for oxygen
0 %
COVID-19 patients

that are in hospitals, even with the less severe omicron variant, require oxygen. This is an immense additional burden on the already overloaded oxygen supply chain.8

0 %
of medical devices

are on average not operational in low and middle income countries. Oxygen concentrators are not an expectation. 9

The Problem with Oxygen Bottles

Most oxygen is produced in large facilities and filled into high pressure bottles which can then be transported to where they are needed. Transport, however, is costly, needs to happen regularly, and for many remote areas this is simply not possible. In many areas, a treatment of a single severe pneumonia case can cost at least USD 40-60 and consume 1-2 Jumbo D-Type bottles of oxygen.10 The alternative? 

Transportable Oxygen Concentrators. Unfortunately, these devices come with their own challenges.

The Problem with Oxygen Concentrators

Most Oxygen Concentrators have been developed for use in clean hospital environments. In low-resource settings where they are most needed, they quickly break down and need frequent service. Current designs of oxygen concentrators are not optimized for power consumption either, as this is a widely available resource in modern hospitals. It was more important to reduce size and cost.


High temperatures reduce the efficiency of the nitrogen filtering process. This results in lower oxygen purity unless accounted for by the machine.


Water from the intake air is absorbed inside the concentrator and gradually decreases its ability to produce oxygen.

Power Issues

Concentrators rely on continuous power and patients can't breathe during outages. Power fluctuations often break devices.


Clinics and health centers simply can't afford new oxygen concentrators. Especially not if they need frequent replacement.

Dust & Dirt

Filters must be cleaned frequently or else they increase power consumption and can damage the device.


Oxygen and pressure are lower in high altitude environments, which leads to insufficient oxygen purity unless accounted for by the machine.


40% - 70% of medical devices in low resource settings are not operational due to a lack of trained servicing staff and spare parts.1

The Call for Resilient Oxygen Concentrators

A recent study in 12 south-west Nigerian hospitals found that of 57 oxygen concentrators, only 5% (3/57) were producing medical-grade oxygen (defined as >85% purity), and 48% (24/50) of those that turned on and blew gas were simply blowing out air. Data from hospitals in northern Nigeria showed that the situation was even worse in these poorer, more rural, locations. 11

UNICEF has recently published a call for resilient oxygen concentrators that address the above problems together with a target-product-profile and a target technical specification. Our organization has set out to deliver a medically approved, complete design of a device addressing all these issues and manufacture them on a charitable basis.

Our organization relies on volunteers and donations to survive. If you have a dollar to spare or technical expertise to share, please consider helping us out!