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Health

HEALTH

The challenges

Infant and maternal mortality rates fall with increasing access to electricity according to a UNDP study.

In remote areas populations face travelling several hours by road to get to a hospital that has the benefit of modern medical equipment made possible by access to electricity.
Access to clean water is closely linked to hygiene and health conditions. Drinking dirty water is a source of intestinal diseases that can cause death in young children. However, climate change and increasing droughts demands digging more deeply to access this resource; this requires the use of electricity.

The solutions

Access to electricity and water helps to improve hygiene, health and care:

1Illuminating a delivery room

Some health centres have no access to electricity. Care and overnight deliveries carried out using a torch or kerosene lamp are dangerous for health and pollute the environment. Access to a constant light source allows a nurse to carry out their work in better conditions and ensures greater safety for the patient.

2Keeping vaccines in refrigerators

Vaccinations, the best way to fight against killer diseases such as tuberculosis, which still kills many in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia vaccinations, are in short supply in isolated areas of the world. Enabling a refrigerator to be connected keeps vaccines fresh, facilitating vaccination campaigns organized by local organizations. Powering a refrigerator in a care centre also helps develop a small business in selling refrigerated products whose revenues are partly used for maintaining electrical installations.

3Using performant medical equipment

In many health centres in the bush only first aid is available. Further investigation requires equipment which can be found only in distant city hospitals, which forces people to travel several kilometres. A power source enables the use of modern equipment such as ultrasound, simplifies diagnostics and obviates the need for patients to travel long distances, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances in an emergency.

4Improving working conditions and extending consulting hours

There are many nurses carrying out deliveries in the glow of a torch gripped between head and shoulder. Electricity enables them to work in better conditions. Similarly, it means patients can be treated later in the evening.

5Working in complete safety

Larger health centres sometimes have a generator; these are unreliable and expensive in fuel. They suffer frequent power cuts which affect the medical staff’s daily life and shorten the time slots available for consultations. We intervene to ensure existing installations are safe and reliable, bringing them up to standard and optimizing them by installing photovoltaic panels and keeping generators for specific needs (peak consumption, relief operations)

6Participating in keeping health professionals in rural areas

Often in parallel with electrifying health installations, we electrify medical staff’s housing. With better working and living conditions, doctors and nurses are encouraged to stay in the countryside rather than leaving for the cities.

7Providing clean water

Access to clean water is essential to reduce the risks associated with waterborne diseases. In many villages, water is drawn from contaminated wells that sometimes dry up during the dry season. Deep drilling for wells combined with a solar pump enables clean water to be available throughout the year. Access to clean water is also essential in a health centre for treatment in hygienic conditions.

8Contributing to better nutrition

Building a water supply network for feeding market gardening helps develop the cultivation of fruits and vegetables that can then be eaten by villagers.

Benin
Dodji Alixo: Electricity for the “Throne of Wisdom” school
Guinea
Labé: Ensuring the safety of the hospital’s electricity supply
Myanmar
Myanmar: Expertise for Doctors Without Borders
Burkina Faso
Koudougou: Regional light wells
Niger
Agadez: Photovoltaic power supply for 15 health centres
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