The Government of Zambia has launched an Action Plan charting the way forward to provide reliable and affordable electricity to underserved health centers using solar to improve the quality of services offered to poor and vulnerable communities.
This is in line with the government’s goal of providing equitable quality service for all, as laid out in the country’s Vision 2030. The Action Plan was developed in partnership with the Zambian Health Coalition and the Off-Grid Taskforce.
Access to electricity is paramount for the optimal functioning of a health facility. It means lighting for safe emergency night-time care and childbirth, refrigeration for blood and vaccines, sterilisation facilities and powering simple medical devices. Yet, over 70% of rural health facilities in Zambia have no access to electricity, compromising the healthcare of more than 60% of the rural population.
Furthermore, many of the health facilities are located too far from the grid to be connected and even those with a grid connection often face power outages. Therefore, off-grid solutions present a key opportunity to provide low carbon, reliable and cost-effective electricity to improve the quality of healthcare services.