Health News of Tue, 11 Sep 20182

MOH inaugurates solar electrification projects in 26 facilities

Twenty-six projects under the Sustainable Solar Electrification of Health Facilities in Ghana, an initiative to improve access to power for efficient healthcare delivery, have been inaugurated by the government.

The US$2.5 million projects, which were funded by the United Nations Fund (UNF), are located in 16 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) in the Northern, Western and Brong Ahafo regions.

Eleven of those facilities are in the Northern Region, while the Western and Brong Ahafo regions have six and nine each.

Each of the facilities, installed over a one-year period, comprises a nine-solar panel plant that has the capacity to produce three kilowatts (KW) of power per hour.

They also have an in-built remote monitoring system to ensure efficient operation of the solar power facilities.

The Minister of Energy, Mr John Peter Amewu, launched the facilities at the Langantre Community-based Health Planning and Service (CHIPS) compound in the West Gonja District in the Northern Region yesterday.

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At the inauguration of the facilities, Mr Amewu said the government was committed to connecting all communities to the national grid and also encouraging the use of solar energy.

"An additional 38,000 stand-alone solar home systems and 55 mini-grids will be delivered under the Scaling-up Renewable Energy Programme (SREP) in off-grid communities to improve energy access and create opportunities for the private sector and improve the health and well-being of people," he said.

Mr Amewu said more investment in electricity and solar energy would be targeted at health and education facilities in rural communities to help bridge the gap between urban and rural areas in terms of access to such facilities.

He urged the beneficiary communities to adhere to a strict maintenance culture to ensure that the facilities were put to good use.

"Consider these projects as your own property and take proper care of them because they will bring enormous gains in healthcare delivery and improve your lives," he said.

Good initiative For his part, the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, lauded the UNF and its partners for funding and supervising the projects.

He noted that the installation of solar energy in 11 communities in the Northern Region was a major step to addressing the energy challenge that had hampered healthcare delivery in the area.

"Health and energy are bedfellows that improve the lives of a people, so we are grateful for this initiative and ask for more to be done to better the lives of rural people," he said.

The Deputy Director of Administration at the Northern Regional Health Directorate, Mr Jeremiah M. Tiimob, said the installation of the solar facility on the CHPS compounds in the region was a huge relief because it would improve the storage of vaccines.

He said health officials had to travel long distances to get vaccines because of the lack of power to store them.

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