The Center for Public Health and Development (CPHD), a non-profit organization based in Nairobi, has been working for the past several years in East Africa to improve healthcare systems through training and other innovations. Its initiatives complement government efforts by providing essential infrastructure and training of health professionals for effective health service provision.

The problem

In 2013, an assessment in Western Kenya showed that hospitals in the region had a huge need for oxygen. Hospitals usually had to go collect oxygen cylinders from Kisumu, and had to depend on funds and transport. This meant that patients often had to wait or even go without this essential drug.


The CPHD thought: what can bring oxygen closer to facilities and would also ensure it was cheaper? It came up with the idea of setting up an oxygen plant on hospital premises. The plan was set was set into motion.

September 2014: In partnership with the Siaya District Hospital, GE Foundation, and frog Design, the CPHD procured the plant. And Hewa Tele was born. It was created as a private limited company, and was the first social enterprise under the CPHD umbrella.

Two months later, the plant was ready for operations. The First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta did the honors, calling it a project “close to my heart”.


The plant is fully operational, has increased its capacity and has extended its reach to more than 4 counties in Western Kenya.


The initiative has been so successful that several county governments are eager to be a a partner in this venture.