Solar Energy Will Power Medical Institutions in Sub-Saharan AfricaThe "Power Africa" program announced that it will issue a $2.6 million grant to solar energy companies to provide off-grid power to 288 medical institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.
The World Bank’s "Power Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa: Electricity Usage, Reliability, and Supplementary Factors to Economic Impact" report shows that about 60% of medical institutions in sub-Saharan Africa are not powered on electricity. Among the energized hospitals and clinics, only 34% of the hospitals and 28% of the clinics can get 24 hours reliable power supply.
The painful lessons of the corona-virus pandemic show that efficient medical services and response to diseases depend to a large extent on reliable power supply. Electricity is essential to medical and disinfection equipment, diagnostic equipment, vaccine and drug refrigeration, information technology, and the most basic lighting that provides continuous medical services.
Power Africa coordinator Mark Carrato said that solar energy has great potential in expanding and improving medical services in sub-Saharan Africa. Off-grid solar technology provides a clean, economical, and smart solution for medical facilities outside the coverage of the National Grid. Power Africa's experience shows that even the most remote rural facilities can quickly install off-grid solar systems.
David Stonehill, said that through grants, the USAID is investing in a series of pilot projects that demonstrate how the private sector can achieve medical electrification in a commercially sustainable way. These grants demonstrate Power Africa's mode of action. We use appropriate public funds to reduce transaction risks and open the door to private investment.