Solar power for 17 more health centres in Mali, thanks to EKOenergy users

In 2020, EKOenergy granted 12000 € to a project by Santé Sud to provide solar energy to 13 rural community health centres in Mali. In 2021, we granted another 7408 € to power 4 more health centres in the capital area too.

Renewables to improve healthcare services

Malian communities experience major issues in their access to many essential services, particularly healthcare. These issues are further exacerbated in rural areas, which are often located off the electrical grid, furthering their isolation. Healthcare attendance rates are dangerously low whilst rates of mortality are high. Rural health centres often lack the energy to power basic equipment, such as lighting, telephones and computers. The energy needed for communications such as Wi-Fi and telephones is vital, as it allows general community practitioners to exchange information and access patient data. Without these means of communication, rural health centres are further isolated, and electronic medical records are under-utilised.

For the last 30 years, Santé Sud has worked to provide healthcare to the most vulnerable people in rural Mali. From 2015-2018, Santé Sud set up an initiative to establish an Electronic Patient Medical Record (EPMR) system across several healthcare centres in these rural areas. Registering patient data in these rural areas allows practitioners to keep track of the community’s needs.

Through the EKOenergy Climate Fund, Santé Sud has been able to provide the equipment and necessary electricity to use this EPMR system in a total of 17 health centres. The following two projects funded by EKOenergy help provide clean energy to those who need it the most.

13 health centres across the Kayes and Koulikoro regions powered by solar

EKOenergy granted Santé Sud 12000 € in early 2021 to finance photovoltaic installations to supply energy to health centres across the Kayes and Koulikoro regions. Santé Sud carried out this project in partnership with two Malian civil society organisations: The Malian Rural Doctors Association (AMC-Mali) and the Private Sector Alliance for the promotion of Health in Mali (ASP-PSM). Installations were carried out between May and June of 2021. The team present at each health centre received practical training in the operation of the installations. They were provided instructions on the maintenance of the installations and made a promise to commit to renewable energy beyond the scope of the project.

A total of 13 health centres are now equipped with photovoltaic installations, providing them with clean solar energy. These solar installations are used to power a low-energy micro-computer (Raspberry-Pi), tablets and a Wi-Fi antenna provided by Santé Sud to each centre. These centres are used by the 162,500 inhabitants of the surrounding areas, who can now benefit from the extension of available health services. Frontline healthcare workers at these centres can now use computerised data processing systems in their consultations. Previously, these centres did not have access to EPMR systems, and could not record important patient data.

Technology such as this further modernises these centres and provides them with better outreach beyond their rural community. To ensure the continued maintenance of these installations, a WhatsApp group has also been established between Santé Sud and the beneficiaries.

Solar power for 4 health centres located in District 4 of Bamako

Santé Sud began work in District 4 of Bamako in early 2019, to further improve the quality of primary healthcare. The project was carried out in collaboration with three local partner organisations and aimed to equip 4 health centres in District 4 with EMPR systems.

EKOenergy granted 7408 € for the installation of photovoltaic systems in 4 healthcare centres. Two solar panels were installed per health centre and were used to power IT devices, lights, power plugs and the laboratory. Most importantly, this solar energy allows these centres to access and use EMPR systems. Beneficiaries include the 170,000 inhabitants of the surrounding areas, who can now be registered on this system.

Access to these EMPR systems is essential to rural communities in which health centres are dangerously under-utilised. Patient records allow healthcare practitioners to keep track of the communities they are responsible for.

Thanks to all EKOenergy users and sellers

EKOenergy continues to assist initiatives that align with our goals and criteria. This could not be possible without the users of EKOenergy. By using our ecolabel, we can fight energy poverty together and do more for our planet.

Author: Aisling Ffrench
Published: 18 October 2022