Afghanistan no longer needs oxygen imports
Afghanistan, which had no oxygen-producing facility until 2003, remained reliant on imports from foreign countries such as Pakistan and Iran.
Haji HikmatullahHaideri, owner of Maihan Dost Oxygen-Producing Company, said the absence of the gas was a serious problem, threatening the lives of many patientssome until 13 years ago.
“Thirteen years ago, my brother-in-law, who was hospitalised in Wazir Akbar Khan, was in acute need of oxygen. We then searched and found it six hours later. But it was too late and our patient had lost his life,” he said.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News after the incident he thought of building an oxygen-producing facility. “I was finally able to open it in Kabul in 2004,” the man remarked
Haideri did not provide more information about his laboratory, whose administrative manager, Abdul Hadi, said they had opened branches in Hearat, Nangarhar and Balkh provinces.
He added the factory currently produced more than 400 balloons of oxygen with each of them contained 20 to 45 liters of the matter. The oxygen produced in the factories is distributed to government and a number of private hospitals.
Maihan Dost Oxygen Producing Company meets 70 percent requirements of the government hospitals, Hadi added, saying the rest of 30 percent of need for the oxygen was produced by other internal factories.
Dr. Wahid Majrooh, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, said Afghanistan had achieved autarky in oxygen.The production of quality oxygen inside the country and its cheap prices in the private sector had caused Afghanistan to stop imports, he said.
“Oxygen is a vital need for any human and any patientreferred to the emergency section of a hospital is in need of oxygen, whose availability can help reduce the mortality rate,” he added.
According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, currently 28 oxygen factories are active in Kabul, Balkh, Hearat, Nangarhar, Kandahar and Maidan Wardak provinces.
Afghanistan Industrialists Association (AIA) deputy head, Nasir Ahmad Insaf, said the quality of oxygen produced in Afghanistan was becoming better with each passing day.
Afghanistan is self-sufficient in non-alcoholic beverages, juices, mineral water, plastic pipes, disposable dishes, printing houses, chickens, plastic shoes, melting metals, packages, marbles, leather footwear, decorative paints, clothing, salt, dairies, furniture and sweets.
However, some of the products are imported despite thefact they are produced in Afghanistan.Traders have repeatedly asked the government to provide insutriescheaper electricity, long-term loans to industrialists and force state departments to use domestic products.
Maihan Dost Oxygen-Producing Company officials complained about increased power bills and industrialists’ problems.The Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) jacked up power tariff by 25 percent this year.
DABS spokesman, Wahidullah Tawhidi, said power bills would remain the same until the Afghan currency’s value increased. The 25 percent tariff hike would be withdrawn when the domestic currency grew in value, he explained.
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