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.

Featured Video

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

Project Bo: Saving lives in Sierra Leone with Solar, Batteries and Twitter

Project Bo: Saving lives in Sierra Leone with Solar, Batteries and Twitter

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.

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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.

How Solar Power is Transforming Health Care in Uganda

March 28, 2019 | Powering Health Care electrified 36 clinics in Uganda. One year out, hear from mothers and midwives about how electricity is changing the way babies are brought into their world.

Lasting Impact: Sustainable Off-Grid Solar Delivery Models to Power Health and Education

This report helps decisionmakers design sound off-grid electrification projects for rural schools and health centers…

50 Breakthroughs: Critical Scientific and Technological Advances Needed for Sustainable Global Development

This study identified 50 breakthroughs which can make a substantial difference to the lives of the poor…

Access to Modern Energy Services for Health Facilities in Resource-Constrained Settings

This study is a joint effort by the World Health Organization (WHO), aimed at improving quality, safety and accessibility…

Special Feature SEAR: Modern Energy Access and Health

Modern energy access is an important determinant of human health, as it plays a critical role in the capabilities of...

Powering Health Care

for Women, Children, and Families