FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sarah Sceery, email@example.com
With new funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Skoll Foundation, Build Health International teams will assess and repair non-functioning oxygen infrastructure and build local capacity to maintain high-quality oxygen delivery systems
BEVERLY, MA, January 26, 2022 — Build Health International (BHI) is pleased to announce catalytic funding from both the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Skoll Foundation to support critical “Find and Fix” efforts that strengthen local oxygen infrastructure, an essential tool in the fight against COVID-19, in some of the world’s most vulnerable settings.
The “Find and Fix” approach involves identifying and assessing the conditions of existing oxygen infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in sub-Saharan Africa; determining the scale and scope of the repairs needed; and developing an immediate plan of action to improve functionality, train local capacity and maintain high-quality systems long-term. BHI will partner alongside global health leaders and the Every Breath Counts Coalition, the world’s first private-public partnership focused on advocacy, global coordination and support to help low- and middle-income countries reduce pneumonia and oxygen-related deaths, including from COVID-19.
Access to medical oxygen is critical to the treatment of a range of conditions, and especially urgent in the face of continued COVID-19 outbreaks, when oxygen therapy is often the primary treatment for critically-ill patients. With significant challenges facing oxygen supply chains around the world, bolstering and repairing existing oxygen systems — made possible thanks to funding like this — is a highly efficient, cost-effective way to rapidly increase capacity and provide accessible, live-saving care, in the short and long-term to strengthen health systems.
“In many areas of the Global North, COVID-19 has pushed medical oxygen systems to the brink; in countries with more limited health infrastructure, current capacity has been pushed beyond the breaking point,” said BHI Co-Founder and Director, Jim Ansara. “BHI has been deeply invested in the work of expanding medical oxygen access, and we are so grateful to the Gates and Skoll Foundations for their deep support and advocacy of our work to strengthen these vital systems so everyone, everywhere can access critical care.”
“Every Breath Counts applauds the investment in Build Health International (BHI) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Skoll Foundation because it is a recognition of both the urgent need to make sure hospitals in low-resource settings have access to medical oxygen during the pandemic and of Build Health International’s leading work in maintaining critical oxygen infrastructure. And by investing in local engineering skills and strengthening health systems BHI’s work will keep saving lives long after the pandemic is over,” said Leith Greenslade, Every Breath Counts Coalition.
“Finding and fixing broken oxygen plants is a high-impact intervention to reduce COVID deaths and strengthen health systems for the long-term. The Skoll Foundation is pleased to partner with Build Health International as they work to unlock latent medical oxygen supply across sub-Saharan Africa in this critical moment,” said Kathryn Spencer, Skoll Foundation.
About Build Health International:
Build Health International (BHI) believes that every person has a right to quality healthcare. Through the design, building, and maintenance of healthcare infrastructure in low resource settings, BHI develops dignified care spaces and solutions that elevate the quality and accessibility of healthcare worldwide. Working closely with Ministries of Health, partner organizations, and local workforces, BHI promotes sustainable design, empowers communities, and enables access to dignified and affordable healthcare in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Since 2010, BHI has been one of the leading NGOs operating in LMICs at the intersection of medical oxygen and sustainable energy delivery. BHI’s team of biomedical engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, and technicians bring the collective skills required to understand the complexities of oxygen generation plants, associated power systems, and patient delivery methods. To learn more about BHI’s oxygen efforts, please visit https://buildhealthinternational.org/projects/
About the Skoll Foundation
The Skoll Foundation catalyzes transformational social change by investing in, connecting, and championing social entrepreneurs and other social innovators who together advance equitable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
Jeff Skoll, the first employee and first President of eBay, created the Skoll Foundation in 1999 to pursue his vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity for all. The Skoll Foundation is part of the Jeff Skoll Group, which also includes Participant and the Capricorn Investment Group. The Foundation is led by CEO Don Gips.
The Skoll Foundation is at an exciting inflection point in its two-decade long history. With equity at the center of an evolving strategy that extends beyond its traditional focus on social entrepreneurship, the Foundation aspires to fundamentally shift the trajectory on urgent global problems including pandemics and global health systems, racial justice, climate change, effective governance, and inclusive economies. The Foundation does this by connecting social entrepreneurs and other change leaders around the world, investing in their solutions, and championing their work.
Learn more at skoll.org.