WHO: Africa’s Health Systems Depends on Access to Energy

April 4, 2024 Hour: 4:03 pm

On Wednesday, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said at a virtual forum that large-scale electrification of rural health facilities in sub-Saharan countries is key to boosting Africa’s ability to cope with disease outbreaks.

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Salvatore Vinci, sustainable energy adviser at the WHO, said that achieving universal health coverage in Africa and the bulk of the Global South will be dependent on connecting health facilities with electricity to support vaccine storage and operate diagnostic machines and life-saving incubators.

Terming energy access as an enabler in the provision of quality healthcare in Africa, Vinci urged governments, investors and donors to bridge the access gap through innovative financing, policy and regulatory reforms.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 15 percent of health facilities are yet to be electrified, Vinci said, undermining efforts to reduce a disease burden fueled by poverty and climatic shocks.

He said that the uptake of solar energy in health facilities across the continent has been instrumental in curbing maternal and newborn deaths thanks to improved maternity services and routine immunization.

Convened by World Resources Institute, an international non-profit research group that promotes sustainability, the forum brought together policymakers and experts to discuss the intersection of energy access and the provision of quality health services in the Global South.

Vinci said that by leveraging cleaner energy sources including solar and wind, developing countries in Africa will benefit from health systems resilience in the face of multiple shocks linked to climate change.

Autor: teleSUR/ OSG

Fuente: AfricaNews

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