USAID/Power Africa Awards an Additional $2,3 Million in Grant Funding to Scale Healthcare Facility Electrification in sub-Saharan Africa

USAID/Power Africa Awards an Additional $2,3 Million in Grant Funding to Scale Healthcare Facility Electrification in sub-Saharan Africa

Although 74 percent of healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa have some form of access to electricity, surveys show that only 28 percent of such facilities, on average, have a reliable energy supply (i.e., when power is available during all regular service hours). Energy access rates tend to be lower for healthcare facilities in rural areas beyond national power grids. However, urban and peri-urban facilities across the region also face energy constraints. To meet the significant demand for electrified healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa, Power Africa awarded grant funding to 14 private sector off-grid solar energy companies to implement innovative, sustainable approaches to HFE. These grants comprise a 2020 $2,620,650 grant window for HFE pilots in nine countries, a 2021 $363,607 grant window for electrifying maternal and child health services in two countries, and a recent $2,327,701 grant window to scale HFE efforts in five countries.

This latest round of grants will help companies scale tested business models and technologies used to electrify healthcare facilities. The grantees have demonstrated experience in installing and maintaining solar energy systems to power off-grid or weak-grid facilities. To obtain the grant funding, each company formulated an operations and maintenance plan for its clean energy systems covering at least five years, guaranteed adherence to national energy standards and the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association’s consumer protection code, and incorporated remote monitoring to optimize the energy supply. In reviewing the grantees’ proposals, Power Africa prioritized the social benefit of the solutions proposed (such as the size of the catchment population served), economic sustainability, and the share of women leading and working in the company.

Under this latest round of Power Africa grants, Aptech Africa will partner with SustainSolar, another Power Africa HFE grantee, to electrify four off-grid healthcare facilities which offer maternal and child health services in Sierra Leone.

Aptech will supply each facility with SustainSolar’s containerized clean energy system, SustainBox, that will power the facilities’ current equipment. The company will also take advantage of SustainBox’s extra generation capacity by providing each facility with an incubator for newborns, autoclave sterilizer, oxygen concentrator, ultrasound scanner, suction pump, and portable electrocardiograph. The facilities’ solar systems will also power refrigerators to store vaccines and water pumps that will supply clean water to the health centers and to their communities through kiosks.

Off-grid solar supplier d.light, a U.S. company, will use its funding from Power Africa to supply solar energy and vaccine refrigerators to at least 80 off-grid healthcare facilities throughout Kenya, where it has been operating since 2011. This grant funding will allow d.light to optimize its PAYGO solar energy model, guarantee at least five years of after-sales service, and train the facilities’ technicians to help operate and maintain the clean energy systems.

Aptech will supply each facility with SustainSolar’s containerized clean energy system, SustainBox, that will power the facilities’ current equipment. The company will also take advantage of SustainBox’s extra generation capacity by providing each facility with an incubator for newborns, autoclave sterilizer, oxygen concentrator, ultrasound scanner, suction pump, and portable electrocardiograph. The facilities’ solar systems will also power refrigerators to store vaccines and water pumps that will supply clean water to the health centers and to their communities through kiosks.

Off-grid solar supplier d.light, a U.S. company, will use its funding from Power Africa to supply solar energy and vaccine refrigerators to at least 80 off-grid healthcare facilities throughout Kenya, where it has been operating since 2011. This grant funding will allow d.light to optimize its PAYGO solar energy model, guarantee at least five years of after-sales service, and train the facilities’ technicians to help operate and maintain the clean energy systems.

In Uganda, Equatorial Power will electrify 11 public healthcare facilities on the Lake Victoria islands in the Buvuma and Kalangala districts. In 2021, under a Power Africa grant, Equatorial Power and SustainSolar worked together to electrify healthcare facilities to improve maternal and child health services in Uganda’s Namayingo district. For this latest grant, Equatorial Power will partner with SustainSolar once more to supply each of the 11 health centers with solar energy, along with refrigerators for vaccines and reagents, a water purifier, an incubator for newborns, autoclave sterilizer, and a device-charging station.

Havenhill Synergy, a Nigerian clean energy company, is building on its successful Power Africa HFE grant activity in Oyo State, Nigeria, to electrify 50 more primary healthcare facilities in the state. As with the company’s previous grant — when it electrified 21 primary healthcare facilities — Havenhill is entering into a public-private partnership with the government of Oyo State to secure a long-term contract to keep the 50 facilities powered with solar energy. The state government pays for the amount of energy Havenhill supplies to the facilities, and the company covers the costs of operating and maintaining the solar systems for at least ten years.

Having electrified 92 rural healthcare facilities in Mozambique’s Sofala province thanks to Power Africa’s initial HFE grantSolarWorks! will bring its expertise to Malawi, where it will electrify 100 off-grid healthcare facilities.

The company will size its solar power systems according to the needs of each facility, which range from larger clinics to smaller health posts. The company’s smallest 3 kilowatt-hour system can power several lights and chargers, along with a medical examination lamp, infection-count analyzer, microscope, internet router, and a desktop computer. Moreover, SolarWorks! will electrify staff housing at each facility, and train staff to operate and maintain the equipment.

These new grants further strengthen Power Africa’s leading role in electrifying healthcare facilities and strengthening health systems in sub-Saharan Africa, balancing rapid-response electrification (to help meet the demand for COVID-19 treatment) and long-term operation and maintenance. Each grant prioritizes innovative business models that reduce the cost of clean energy for the healthcare facility while securing the revenue needed to supply power reliably. To further accelerate HFE, Power Africa is in the process of mapping healthcare facility electrification in five sub-Saharan African countries (Kenya, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Uganda), which will reveal the energy needs of healthcare facilities and their surrounding populations. Power Africa will publish these HFE market assessments later this year.

These activities fall under the broader scope of Power Africa’s HFE efforts, including the recently launched Healthcare Electrification and Telecommunication Alliance (HETA) that will power over 10,000 healthcare facilities in the next eight to ten years and the multilateral HFE Compact established in September 2021 by Power Africa and SEforALL, along with 14 other development partners, to electrify 25,000 health clinics by 2025.

Source: https://powerafrica.medium.com/usaid-power-africa-awards-an-additional-2-3-million-in-grant-funding-to-scale-healthcare-facility-ce8f396b62b2

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