Now in its third year, COVID-19 has revealed that too many hospitals and clinics worldwide do not have access to electricity.
Medical equipment often malfunctions as the voltage is too high or too low. In addition, medical personnel is forced to perform procedures like running an IV, taking a blood sample, or even delivering a baby with little or no light.
For example, ESMAP’s Improving Livelihoods (IHLC) program provided technical assistance and a US$10 million grant to electrify health facilities as an added component in more than 20 World Bank projects. This activity also targets 7,000 health care facilities in countries affected by fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV), such as Burundi, Chad, Haiti, Liberia, Mali, and Niger.
The new electricity systems combine photovoltaic solar panels and battery storage backed by generators or the main grid. In areas not served by the main grid, the newly generated electricity will supply mini-grids and power surrounding communities.
The systems, which are standardized and modular, are installed and operated by prequalified private sector mini-grid developers.
In addition, ESMAP is using geospatial mapping to identify and organize the 500 health facilities targeted for the bidding process. The program provides in-person and on-demand implementation support, helping install electrical systems in nearly 20 COVID-19 treatment facilities. In the coming months, the remaining facilities are due to receive investments.
While there is a strong demand for investing in green and resilient energy, governments face budget constraints and limited capacity to develop market-ready technologies and solutions. In addition, the durability and maintenance of solar PV systems at off-grid health facilities also remain a critical challenge.
Therefore,In that effort, the World Bank continues to help governments to adopt innovations in data analytics, technology, business models, risk mitigation, and remote monitoring, thus enabling the private sector to engage more fully.
Over the past two years, ESMAP, the World Health Organization (WHO), Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll), and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have collaborated to analyze the status of electricity access for health facilities worldwide. On October 7, these organizations will present the findings of the Global Assessment of Electricity in Healthcare Facilities at the Second Meeting of the High-Level Coalition on Health and Energy. The report, which will be launched at COP 27 in November, provides comprehensive data on the electrification rates of health facilities in low- and middle-income countries. It also presents successful and scalable business models to supply sustainable energy for health care services, including green technologies.
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