Part of achieving universal health coverage, a key element of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), means ensuring that everyone has access to quality healthcare, including maternal and child health services, yet not enough attention is being given to healthcare’s reliance on energy. Energy is a vital enabler of healthcare delivery, and clean, distributed energy solutions are particularly well-suited to address the needs of health facilities in rural and off-grid areas.
Access to reliable electricity in health facilities is an important enabler of quality, essential health services for women, children, and families, and is necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal in both energy and health. Yet, it is estimated that tens of thousands of health facilities across low- and middle-income countries lack electricity and/or suffer from frequent and debilitating blackouts.
To help address this challenge, the United Nations Foundation began work in 2013 under the umbrella of the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative to build the evidence and knowledge for the United Nations and its partners to close the energy access gap for health facilities and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
In support of the effort to improve access to quality, essential health care through universal electrification of health facilities by 2030, this website serves as a resource for those interested in the nexus of energy and health care, with a focus on knowledge-sharing and advocacy for access to energy in the health sector.
Powering Health Care: Phoebe’s Story
Imagine having to give birth in the dark or have an operation with only the light of a mobile phone. While there is little awareness about the importance of electricity to health care, energy is essential for women, children, and families.
Health care facilities depend on electricity to function and provide essential services when they are needed most. Electricity is used to power the lights in the operating room and maternity ward, maintain the cold chain for vaccines, operate life-saving medical devices, and support and empower staff like Phoebe Akiiki. This is Phoebe’s story.
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