Let’s adopt decentralised energy solution for health care delivery—Prof. Alatinga

Professor Kennedy Alatinga, the Dean of the Faculty of Planning and land Management of the SD DomboUniversity of Business and Integrated Development Studies has appealed to policy makers to facilitate the adoption of decentralized energy solutions for the health sector in the country. 

According to him electricity was a critical infrastructure for healthcare delivery and the loss of electric power could result in the inability to operateessential life saving medical equipment By hence the need for context-sensitive energy solutions for hospitals in the country.

“The loss of electric power can result in the inability to power life-sustaining and other essential medical devices and equipment as well as lead to the improper storage of medications,” he stressed.

Professor Alatinga made the appeal at the closing ceremony of the Energy Self-sufficiency for Health Facilities in Ghana (EnerSHelf) Project workshop in Accra last Wednesday. 

Sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) the three-year project sought to assess on-ground energy situation in terms of its availability and reliability for different types of health facilities.

It was also to assess differing energy demands and sources at various rural and urban locations across the country. 

Professor Alatinga who is the project manager forEnerSHelf said routine healthcare processes, such as surgical operations and equipment sterilizations often became challenging in the absence of reliable source of electricity.

“To mitigate the adverse effects of persistent irregular and unpredictable power outages on clinical operations, many healthcare facilities in Ghana rely on backup generators for their electricity,” he said.

However, he explained that the financial sustainability of the dependence on generators often posed a challenge especially in the light of rising and fluctuating petroleum prices.

On her part, the Director of International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE), Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, University of Applied Sciences, Professor Katja Bender  said EnerSHelF was a German-Ghana project aimed at addressing the energy challenges that confronted the health sector in the country.

It brought together experts from academia and industry to work together on technical, economic and political questions to improve and disseminate marketable PV based energy solutions for health facilities in Ghana.

She explained that EnerSHelF had an interdisciplinary and context specific design including engineering expertise, economists and climate change scientists.

Professor Bender said the interdisciplinary approach and the close collaboration with stakeholders and local change agents throughout the project contributed to the development of tailor-made and context-specific technological solutions.

“This will facilitate the use of sustainable market-based PV energy solutions and contribute to energizing Ghana’s future,” she said.

Cliff Ekuful

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