By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has started supplying oxygen to Government run hospitals and health facilities on the Copperbelt as part of the concerted efforts in the fight against Covid-19.
KCM Chief Executive Officer Christopher Sheppard says at the end of June, the Company indicated that its subsidiary, KCM SmelterCo Limited, had offered to supply oxygen for medical interventions.
Mr Sheppard said this was to particularly enhance oxygen saturation and breathing in patients infected by the Covid-19 from its 750 tonnes per day Oxygen Plant at the Nchanga Smelter.
“KCM now informs that it held successful meetings with officials from the Ministry of Health, who also conducted on the spot checks at the Oxygen plant and were satisfied with the quality of the oxygen available and the process of filling cylinders at the plant.
He said he was pleased to announce that after receiving a green light for KCM SmelterCo Limited to supply the oxygen to the Ministry of Health.
He added the Company filled 20 oxygen cylinders for the Ronald Ross Hospital of Mufulira on 26th July 2021. The KCM SmelterCo has capacity to fill up to 200 oxygen cylinders in a day.
“Saving lives has always been our priority as reflected in our safety and health policy, whether it is for our employees or people in our communities because every life matters,” he said.
Recently, an analysis of oxygen samples delivered for testing from the Oxygen Plant at the Nchanga smelter in Chingola to the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) were returned with results of 95.7 percent and 97.8 percent, respectively.
Mr Sheppard further called on like-minded organisations to join in the efforts to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic by donating medical oxygen cylinders to the Government in order to boost oxygen supply to the health facilities.
“If we have more organisations coming on board to procure oxygen cylinders to donate to the Government, then we will be able to give out more oxygen to the public hospitals and save more lives, together,” he added.
KCM and the Ministry of Health have agreed a roadmap for delivering the oxygen to public hospitals, which will culminate into the signing of an agreement for long-term oxygen supply to enable the country to effectively deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is according to a media statement issued to the Independent Observer by KCM’s general corporate affairs manager Shapi Shachinda.