Power Africa Hosted Digital Dialogue: Lights On Health: Powering Healthcare in SSA

Power Africa Hosted Digital Dialogue: Lights On Health: Powering Healthcare in SSA image
When it comes to the role of solar energy in the healthcare sector, the conversation should be transitioning from ‘has the solar space evolved enough?’, to ‘how do we best leverage solar now that it has evolved?'
The challenge revolves around finding a business model that would see solar power enrich the healthcare sector sustainably, and generating data to help countries, governments and private operators better strategise in this space.

What can be agreed, after the events of this year and COVID-19, is that solutions are needed quickly.

A recent study predicted that as many as 59% of healthcare institutions in Africa suffer from “unreliable power” – this is to say it’s intermittent or not fit for purpose.

In East Africa especially, the private sector, and bodies like the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Uganda are exploring models that relieve the burden of payments between health centres and energy service providers amid a fluctuating supply chain and inconsistent costs. 

The more examples of partnerships seen in this area, the more data can be attained on how to strike successful deals on a case by case basis. This will not only spark activity and opportunity among the wider private sector, but it will aid one of the continent’s most pressing challenges.

Lauren Thomas, Principal Developer, eleQtra said: “This is a new sector, and new sectors need investment and trialling so that we learn fast, and then bring those learnings together… Energy and health really is this cross-sectional world and it’s now all about how we get ministries and private partners to work together.”