10 May A2O2 Resource Library: A central platform for all things oxygen
By Carrie Hemminger and Amy Dempsey, PATH
Oxygen is essential to sustain and save lives. It is required to treat hypoxemia, or low levels of oxygen in the blood, which affects millions of people each year who have pneumonia, COVID-19, complications from pregnancy and premature birth, and noncommunicable diseases, among other conditions. Consistent availability of medical oxygen supply is as essential as planning for water or electricity in health facilities.
Closing the oxygen access gap requires an integrated set of solutions and thoughtful investment. Many of the tools and resources needed to overcome those barriers have been developed by global health and implementing organizations, manufacturers and suppliers, donors, and country governments. In 2021, the Access to Oxygen (A2O2) Resource Library was created and launched by PATH as a central place for global and country-specific tools, guidance, data, publications, policies, protocols, and advocacy resources for oxygen scale-up and long-term respiratory care planning. Relaunched in 2023, it now offers new resources and an improved user experience. Learn more.
What was the original purpose of the A2O2 Resource Library?
PATH first launched this library in 2021 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic—when attention to medical oxygen as a lifesaving therapy was at its peak. However, knowledge and information needed to rapidly scale up access to oxygen under challenging—and always evolving—circumstances were often difficult to find. At the time, there were very few, if any, repositories that collated resources related to oxygen and respiratory care. But through the pandemic, more stakeholders did exactly that. Platforms like Open Critical Care and toolkits like the World Health Organization’s Clinical Care for Severe Acute Respiratory Infections Toolkit filled this gap. These repositories either touched upon oxygen as one part of broader critical, emergency, or surgical care or focused heavily on just one component of oxygen delivery, for example, the clinical side. With the A2O2 Resource Library, we saw an opportunity to bring together even more resources that support oxygen and respiratory care scale-up under one roof.
What makes the A2O2 Resource Library stand out?
The A2O2 Resource Library is designed to be a central platform for all things oxygen—covering every aspect of the oxygen ecosystem from planning to equipment management to patient care. It serves as a one-stop shop for resources and tools that support countries in planning and executing a respiratory care strategy, initially in the context of COVID-19 and now as part of long-term scale-up of oxygen access and universal health coverage. One key benefit of the library is that it hosts many policy- and advocacy-related resources that support governments, ministries, global health funders, and civil society actors to make progress and hold decision-makers accountable in scaling up oxygen access.
What was the catalyst for relaunching the A2O2 Resource Library?
The A2O2 Resource Library was always intended to be a living resource—to adapt with the changing environment and needs. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to subside, intentionally expanding the library to focus more on long-term respiratory care planning made sense. At the same time, the PATH team also reviewed the facets of the library that worked well and others that did not—in order to improve the user experience so that visitors could find the most relevant resources more easily.
What changes were made to the A2O2 Resource Library?
The first change made was to the Resources page. We reimagined how the resources could be displayed, so now users can see more details about each resource as they scroll through their search results. The page now includes a summary about each resource, what type of resource it is, and what categories it falls under. Users can even click on each resource directly from their search results—whereas before it required opening the resource details to access. We also changed how resources are tagged and classified, so the most helpful resources should now appear at the top of the search results.
We added a new feature to the library—User Scenarios—to provide a starting point for exploring the resource library. The aim of this is to make it easier for everyone to find the most helpful resources under a certain set of circumstances or “user scenario” for supporting oxygen and respiratory care scale-up. Each user scenario includes a small collection of preselected resources as well as suggested library search criteria. User scenarios are organized by our three target audiences—advocates, decision-makers, and implementers—and cover key oxygen priorities, from securing funding for oxygen scale-up to developing an oxygen roadmap to ensuring oxygen safety at health facilities.
And lastly, we have added even more resources in the library—almost three times as many—and the bulk of them go beyond the COVID-19 response and focus on access to medical oxygen and respiratory care as part of long-term health system planning.
What if a user wants to suggest a new resource to include in the library?
The A2O2 Resource Library is a living resource and is updated regularly. Users who want to suggest a new resource for inclusion should use this submission form. From there, the PATH team will vet the resource and determine whether it fits the inclusion criteria for the library.
10 May 2023