The world’s major health goals cannot be achieved without universal access to quality health care. This is especially true in areas where health systems are weak and under-resourced, as these areas are where the majority of preventable maternal and child deaths occur. One important, but often overlooked, building block of health service delivery is the availability of electricity in health facilities.
When health facilities have sufficient and reliable power, women can more safely give birth at night in well-lit delivery rooms, medical equipment can be powered and better sterilized and clinics can preserve life-saving vaccines for newborns, children and adults.
Yet, it is estimated that tens of thousands of health centers across low- and middle-income countries lack electricity. A similar number of hospitals suffer from frequent and debilitating blackouts. In parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, it is estimated that only 28% of health facilities have access to reliable electricity.
This lack of access to power compromises the ability to provide both routine and emergency health care.
Worldwide, over 289,000 women die every year from pregnancy- and childbirth-related complications, many of which could be averted with the provision of better lighting and other electricity-dependent medical services.
Many diseases such as pneumonia and measles can be prevented through immunizations, yet they still kill approximately 1.7 million children each year, predominantly in developing countries. Unreliable electricity supply compromises vaccine refrigeration, and a significant share of vaccines delivered to developing countries is ruined due to poor cold chain services.
In low-income countries, many health care acquired infections are attributable to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) at health facilities, which in itself is generally dependent on access to power for water pumping and water purification.
An estimated 70% of medical devices in developing countries fail, with poor power quality a major contributing factor.
Our mission is to improve access to quality, essential health care services by promoting universal electrification of health facilities by 2030
Sustainable Energy for All helps build partnerships and initiatives to accelerate action on UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 (sustainable and modern energy for all). Since 2011, SEforALL has worked closely with UN leaders and partners to remove obstacles to universal sustainable energy and lift billions of people out of energy poverty.
Sustainable Energy for All is working to advance progress at the intersection of SDG3 and SDG7. We are doing this by supporting the global community’s efforts to bring about the systemic changes necessary to achieve universal electrification of health facilities by 2030. We also focus on bringing together and strengthening engagement between the energy access and health communities to improve health outcomes.
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