Who we are
The Oxygen for Life Initiative is a Nigerian non-profit organisation (CAC/IT/NO 104604) dedicated to making sure that every child who needs oxygen will get it.
In 2015, the Nigeria Oxygen Implementation Project started helping 12 hospitals in south-west Nigeria to improve their oxygen systems. When we started, only 10% of children who needed oxygen were receiving it, and hospital staff described huge challenges in reliably providing oxygen to children.
“Oxygen is my biggest headache. We owe 9 million naira to the oxygen supply company, and every month I beg them not to cut us off.” Chief Medical Director
“Oxygen supplies frequently run out, and we must choose which patient will receive oxygen and which will miss out.” Doctor
“Oxygen is expensive for patients, and often they refuse to accept oxygen or discharge against medical advice (DAMA) because it costs too much.” Nurse
“Nurses call us to quickly bring oxygen cylinders, even when we are busy doing other things. Then we have to carry the cylinder, find the spanner to connect the regulator. It is always causing fights with the nurses.” Hospital Engineer
We used the best examples from around the world to help hospitals develop better oxygen systems. We introduced pulse oximetry as a vital sign to be done for all patients, so that nurses would know who actually needed oxygen and how much. We installed oxygen concentrators that could be used for up to 5 patients at the same time, ensuring that every child could get oxygen when required. We trained nurses, doctors, and hospital technicians in how to use oxygen well, and look after equipment. We encouraged hospitals to set up multi-disciplinary oxygen quality improvement teams to find solutions and plan for sustainability. We supervised technicians to do preventive maintenance and repairs. We did follow up visits to support and encourage staff. And we gathered feedback and data to help us all learn how to do it even better in the future.
In 2017, the Nigeria Oxygen Implementation Project team officially handed the activities over to the hospitals and state government. We heard more testimonials.
“Now every child that needs oxygen will get it.” Doctor
“Oxygen is now stress-free and easy. No more headaches! We have a sustainable system for providing oxygen at low-cost, and are now expanding to other wards” Medical Director
“Pulse oximetry is now our fifth vital sign. It helps us do our job, and saves time!” Nurse
“Before I would only hear about problems with oxygen when people ask me to fix something. Now do preventive maintenance and I can help the nurses keep the oxygen concentrators and piping working all the time.” Hospital Engineer
Following the success of the Nigeria Oxygen Implementation Project, hospital directors and government leaders told us they wanted help to sustain the oxygen systems, and scale them up to other hospitals. In 2017 we launched the Oxygen for Life Initiative to provide hospitals and governments achieve our vision of “oxygen for all”.
Meet the Team
The Oxygen for Life Initiative team is led by a core group of clinicians and engineers, and supported by our Board of Trustees. We are privileged to have the support of clinical and technical experts in Nigeria and globally, and many members of the original Oxygen Implementation Project continue their involvement as Trustees, advisors, employees, and consultants.
Professor Adegoke G. Falade is a Paediatric Respiratory Physician. He is the inaugural OLI President, and Professor at the University College Hospital Ibadan and the University of Ibadan. Professor Falade is a global expert in child pneumonia, and is regularly consulted by the Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria, WHO, and global health organisations.
Dr Adebayo A. Bakare is a medical doctor and public health trainee. He is OLI Project Manager (and Vice President), overseeing the oxygen activities nationally. Dr Bakare led the day-to-day activities of the Oxygen Implementation Project since 2015, and has an intimate understanding of how to improve oxygen systems in Nigeria.
Dr Hamish Graham is a Paediatrician and Public Health researcher. He is Secretary of the OLI Board of Trustees, and holds appointments in Melbourne (RCH/MCRI/University of Melbourne) and Nigeria (University College Hospital Ibadan). Dr Graham is a global expert on pulse oximetry and oxygen systems and regularly advises WHO, UNICEF, and global health organisations.
Barr. Adepeju M. Jaiyeoba is a lawyer and community development advocate. She is a member of the OLI Board of Trustees, and founding director of the Brown Button Foundation. Barr. Adepeju is globally recognised for her work in combating maternal mortality, a mission driven by her own personal experience.
Other members of the OLI Board of Trustees include:
- Professor Babatunde O. Onadeko (chair), Emeritus Professor, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
- Professor Trevor Duke, Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia.
- Engr. Bola Olowe, President of the Grace Leadership Foundation, Ibadan.
- Dr. Taye Oni, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health Ondo state, Akure.
- Dr. Folasade Fasina, Director, Hospital Management Board Ogun state, Abeokuta.
- Engr. Kehinde O. Temikotan, Lecturer, Elizade University, Akure.
- Dr. Mariam Tokhi, Family Medicine Physician, Melbourne, Australia.
The OLI team would like to acknowledge the dedication and contribution made by all members of the original Nigeria Oxygen Implementation team. In particular, we thank Dr A.I. Ayede (University College Hospital Ibadan, University of Ibadan), Professor Trevor Duke (Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne, Australia), Dr David Peel (Ashgrove Consultant, UK) and Mr Olatinwo (University College Hospital Ibadan). We also acknowledge the generous support of Dr Rasa Izadnegahdar and Dr Dino Rech at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.