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6 Steps to Powering Health

Powering Health's six-step approach to understanding a health facility’s energy needs and designing an energy system to meet those needs in a cost effective way. Learn about the approach and find resources supporting each step.

The quality of grid power in Haiti is ranks among the worst in the world. Many health facilities receive only a few hours of power per day, with prolonged outages of up to a month not uncommon in some locations. The lack of reliable electricity in health facilities across the country complicates the storage of cold chain dependent blood, laboratory reagents and HIV rapid test kits. Power anomalies cause damage to laboratory equipment and jeopardize the accuracy of sensitive laboratory tests. In addition, a significant portion of many health facilities operating budget was used for the purchase of diesel fuel to power generators during frequent power outages. Reducing this expense would allow these facilities to use these funds for other priority needs.

Ethiopia

The USG PEPFAR program is a multi-country, multi-billion dollar initiative to prevent and treat HIV AIDS in developing countries (www.pepfar.gov). The PEPFAR program in Ethiopia has found the effectiveness, sustainability, and reach of prevention, care and treatment programs are directly compromised by the lack of reliable power at health facilities.

Grid Extension

Grid Extensions connects the facility to the local utility grid. If available, grid power is typically the most cost effective power supply, although the cost of extending lines to rural facilities can be prohibitively expensive. The quality of grid power in developing countries is often poor, so on-site technologies are often required regardless of whether a facility is connected to the grid or not.