Report - January 2023

Energizing health: accelerating electricity access in health-care facilities

Access to electricity is fundamental to the provision of health services – from lights to illuminate a midwife’s work guiding childbirth, to enabling nurses and clinicians to correctly diagnose and respond to emergency conditions. Yet this critical aspect of essential health care has remained almost invisible in the decades-long push to improve health service delivery and health outcomes. Among the dozens of global and national indicators used to track and monitor the performance of health services, access to electricity has been most glaringly absent from the list, at least until very recently. This landmark report aims to change that, and give access to energy – particularly electricity – its rightful place in health services and systems planning, implementation and evaluation. Co-led by the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the International Renewable Energy Agency, and Sustainable Energy for All, this report represents the first official interagency mapping of electricity access in low- and middle-income countries worldwide – with reference to the sparse available data. Those data reflect huge gaps in electricity access in the world’s poorest countries.
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