On November 19, 2017 three babies at Bo Government Hospital died when a power shortage stopped their oxygen supply. Michael Liebreich, Founder and CEO of Liebreich Associates and founding member of the High Level Advisory Group for the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative, established Project Bo to see that this never happens again. In this blog, Michael tells his personal account of getting Project Bo off of the ground and offers advice for anyone starting a similar project and key messages for the multilateral donor community.
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.
On the Blog
OVO Foundation funds electrification projects in Kenya
May 14, 2019 | The OVO Foundation has announced that is expanding its energy access project in Kenya, electrifying over 300 schools and health clinics in the hardest-to-reach parts of Kenya.
Solar holds promise for remote health facilities, but key gaps remain
April 26, 2019 | DEVEX | An estimated 41% of health care facilities in low- and middle- income countries have reliable electricity. Stand-alone solar units are playing a key role in increasing access to electricity, but often lack proper funding for follow-up and maintenance after installation.