Implementation of solar powered oxygen delivery in a conflict zone: preliminary findings from Somalia on feasibility and usefulness

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Access to therapeutic oxygen in low-resource settings remains a significant global problem. Solar powered oxygen (SPO2) delivery is a reliable and cost-effective solution. We followed implementation research methodology to gather data on engineering parameters (remote monitoring), nurse training (before and after knowledge questionnaire), patients treated with SPO2 (descriptive case series), and qualitative user feedback (focus group discussions). In January 2021, SPO2 was installed at Hanano General Hospital in Dusamareb, Galmudug State, Somalia, in a conflict-affected region. Daily photovoltaic cell output (median 8.0 kWh, interquartile range (IQR) 2.6-14) exceeded the electrical load from up to three oxygen concentrators (median 5.0 kWh, IQR 0.90-12). Over the first six months after implementation, 114 patients (age 1 day to 89 years, 54% female) were treated for hypoxaemic illnesses, including COVID-19, pneumonia, neonatal asphyxia, asthma, and trauma. Qualitative end user feedback highlighted SPO2 acceptability. Violent conflict was identified as a contextual factor affecting local oxygen needs. We provide the preliminary findings of this implementation research study and describe the feasibility, fidelity, rapid adoption, usefulness, and acceptability of SPO2 in a low-resource setting characterized by violent conflict during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings demonstrated the lifesaving feasibility of SPO2 in volatile settings.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Taylor and Francis group