Publication - Case Study: Supporting Efficient Use of Energy for Better Rural Health Outcomes
for healthcare systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Mortality rates are extremely high: in global terms, almost half the deaths of children under five, and twothirds of maternal deaths, occur in Africa. Lack of energy access is a root cause for such unfavourable outcomes - 1 in 4 health facilities in Africa are not connected to the electricity grid. Hospitals and clinics need electricity to provide quality healthcare for a myriad of reasons, from lighting and heating to refrigeration for vaccines and blood banks. Decentralised clean energy solutions, coupled with improved energy efficiency, would provide a range of benefits, including a reduction in child mortality rates, an increase in the use of modern medical equipment and improvements in overall clinic operations. However, at present, 26% of Kenya’s health facilities have no access to electricity and only 15% have access to stable, reliable power . Access to quality maternity and reproductive services is far lower in rural areas, with a majority of rural women giving birth outside of health facilities, corresponding to a higher neonatal mortality rate . A 2014 study by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that quality rural healthcare can be attributed to the increased provision of cleanenergy solutions, often by private entities like Afya Research Africa (ARA).