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Health & Energy Efficiency

Lack of access to reliable energy in health facilities impedes the delivery of essential services

Nearly a quarter of primary health centers in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity, and only a third of hospitals have reliable access. Even the most basic health services mean powering necessary devices, ranging from vaccine refrigerators, to diagnostic equipment for basic health screenings, and sterilisers to minimise infections. Populations excluded from such health services suffer in terms of their personal and financial well-being.

Distributed solar energy systems equipped with high-quality, super-efficient appliances and medical devices can provide reliable access to health services for clinics and health centers that currently lack it. This approach lowers costs by reducing the size of the energy system required to deliver basic health services and improves service delivery by powering a wider range of super-efficient appliances and devices that unlock a holistic suite of health services.

Access to health services

A Partnership Approach

A range of challenges inhibit the deployment of holistic off-grid health technology solutions at scale, from lack of data to effective but geographically isolated efforts.

In collaboration with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the United Nations Foundation, we are advocating for a suite of research and programmatic activities to expand and solidify linkages between energy access and health outcomes. This includes assessing potential benefits of super-efficient appliances and devices for health service delivery in resource-constrained areas, and identifying specific interventions with potential to drive impacts at scale.

Fridge man

Technology spotlight: Refrigeration

Energy efficiency is the central design principle for unlocking an expanded, holistic set of health services at least cost.

Medicine and vaccine cold chains provide a critical service to off-grid health clinics, but these interventions often utilise inefficient refrigerators paired with oversized energy systems.

Super-efficient refrigerators can deliver the same service while using significantly smaller and less expensive energy systems. Or, the energy system required to power an inefficient vaccine refrigerator could power a super-efficient refrigerator alongside a suite of other super-efficient appliances and medical devices, minimising energy system costs but maximising healthcare service delivery.

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