‘Solar for Health’ initiative set

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A man uses a solar energy panel to charge electric devices in Diebly, a village without electricity at the base of Mont Peko. AFP

Solar power is helping make universal healthcare a reality in places where unreliable power supplies regularly affect access to vital services, and can out people’s lives at risk, thanks to support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Governments in Sub-Saharan Africa have partnered with UNDP to launch the Solar for Health initiative to install solar systems in rural health centers and clinics where surgeries may be carried out by candlelight and where vaccines and medicines can expire without proper temperature regulation.

The initiative aims to use solar power to refrigerate medicines, maintain health information systems, and create adequate conditions for the delivery of babies, while reducing emissions which harm the environment.

Some 405 health facilities across the region have benefitted so far.

Nearly one billion people live without electricity, and 50 percent of them are found in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Energy poverty prevents access to healthcare for millions of vulnerable people around the world.

Health clinics, maternity wards, surgery blocks, medical warehouses, and laboratories rely on electricity to refrigerate medicines, power the lights and operate life-saving medical devices.
Intermittent or unreliable power source puts lives at risk.

UNDP’s Solar for Health initiative is supporting governments to install solar systems in health centers and clinics in rural areas to reach underserved communities. The aim is to ensure healthcare for all, wherever they may be, and that no one is left behind.

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