An estimated 38 million Indians rely on health facilities that are beyond the reach of India’s electric grid. Without access to regular power supply, many lifesaving interventions cannot be undertaken, posing a barrier to the attainment of universal health coverage. But thanks to organizations like the Chhattisgarh State Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA), this situation is beginning to change.
More than 1 billion people around the world live without access to electricity, and in many communities, health clinics don’t have reliable power. To achieve sustainable development, we need sustainable energy.
In recent weeks, energy has been talked about in several global conferences – including the World Health Assembly and the Sustainable Energy for All Forum – as a key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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.
Women in developing countries are 300 times more likely to die from childbirth than women in developed countries. According to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2015, approximately 830 women died every day due to complications during pregnancy or childbirth; 99 percent of these deaths occur in developing countries. Adding to the tragedy, most of these maternal deaths occurred in low-resource communities and could have been prevented.