26 Jun | News
Announcing the 2018 Ashden Awards longlist
First, we invite you to follow the life of a doctor in Chhattisgarh, India. Until now, most public health centres in the state had no reliable source of power, which meant that electricity and lighting were unpredictable. The majority of local health care centres were having to deliver babies in the dark and emergency patients were having to travel for hours to reach hospitals with back-up generators. Doctors would even walk around with an emergency candle in their front shirt pocket in case of a power cut. Because of the forests that cover most of the state, grid connectivity is difficult and expensive.
The local government launched a pioneering scheme to fund solar power to all local primary health centres, working closely with the health and education departments to get buy-in.
Chhattisgarh State Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA) install and operate solar PV systems in rural health centres in the state. With renewable energy installed, they now have an affordable, reliable source of electricity. Public Health Centres (PHCs) are now able to deliver up to four times as many babies per month and post-birth, babies can be kept warm with heaters, mothers cool with fans. Fridges and freezers can be kept at a stable temperature, which is vital in safely storing and transporting vaccinations, and reducing vaccine waste. The hospitals and pharmacies now have reliable internet connection and can order vaccines and prescriptions online.