The Minister of Health, Dr. Austin Demby, today officially launched the completion of six government hospitals, with 11 more to come, after they were fully electrified using renewable Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems with batteries. The six hospitals include Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH), Ola During Children’s Hospital (ODCH), Bonthe Government Hospital, Kambia Government Hospital, Kabala Government Hospital and Masanga Hospital.
Power supply to hospitals is of high priority as healthcare facilities require reliable electricity to keep equipment running, store supplies safely, and carry out procedures and to handle emergency cases that occur at night.
Unfortunately, the electricity sector in Sierra Leone faces a lot of challenges. The country’s power sector has a capacity of about 100 MW, whereas it requires 500 MW of interrupted power to its citizens. The deficit is the reason why only 26.7 % of the total population currently has access to electricity. Recent health surveys estimate that approximately 38% of health facilities do not have any source of electricity (SDI, 2018).
This situation makes it impossible for hospitals to function optimally, putting the population at risk. This has been one of the contributing factors for the poor maternal and infant mortality rates in Sierra Leone.
This short video documentary gives an insight into the health electrification project and the impact it is already having on the ground across the country.