20 February 2019
Let There Be Light International (LTBLI)
Let There Be Light International has met and exceeded our commitment goals.
We have solar-electrified 26 off-grid health centers since September 2015, impacting the healthcare access and delivery for 464,887 people. Furthermore, Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) has conducted follow-up surveys and offered ongoing support to the clinics including training of the staff, reporting to the district health officers, signage on appropriate usage, and community awareness and educational sessions about interlinkages between access to safe energy and women and children’s health outcomes.
Findings from a May 2017 Health and Technology Impact Study in rural Uganda describe how healthcare access, delivery, quality of care, indicators of staff wellbeing, and on-time medical reporting rates changed after the installation of solar electrification systems at rural off-grid Health Center (HC) facilities. The health clinics all are now operating 24 hours/day, an increase in hours of operation of 80-100%. The clinics increased the number of patients treated by an average of 37%. The average number of children treated for respiratory distress, malaria and other ailments on a weekly basis across the clinics has increased 48%.
And, at clinics providing maternity services, attended births increased nearly 200%, from an average of 2.4 births/wk to 7 births/wk. LTBLI’s follow-up study found that the increase in attended births was cited by community members and healthcare staff as an important marker of increased community healthcare access in their rural off-grid communities.
A key innovation in late 2018 was the provision of a pico solar light to vulnerable women and children through a clinic referral system. In 2019, LTBLI launched the Safe Births + Healthy Homes (SB+HH) pilot project at 3 health clinics in Uganda. 900 pico solar lights will be given to postnatal women and infants in remote rural communities to incentivize them to give birth in attended birth settings in their communities.
Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) has solar-electrified 16 prioritized off-grid health clinics in Uganda, impacting the healthcare access and delivery of 209,622 people in the 16 catchment areas, exceeding our EWEC commitment target by 100%. By the end of 2018, LTBLI will enable the solar-electrification of an additional 2 health clinics. Four primary achievements affecting the women, children, and adolescent health care should be noted: 1) Attended births have risen 200% in the clinics offering attended birth services. 2) Hours of operation have increased 100% (from an average of 12 to 24 hours). 3) 46% more children are receiving healthcare services than prior to the clinics offering 24/7 services. 4) On-time reporting and staff retention have improved.
In support of the Global Strategy (2016-2030), LTBLI commits to alleviating energy poverty in off-grid areas of Uganda and to improving health, safety and wellbeing outcomes for women, children, and adolescents. Through the provision of basic lighting systems to 12 unelectrified, off-grid clinics serving rural communities in low-resource settings, LTBLI will improve health services for approximately 100,000 people by the end of 2018. The total commitment value is estimated at $50,800.
Targeted health clinics will be identified through a multi-stakeholder approach that includes local and regional health ministries, elected officials, local leadership, and peer organizations. Prior to providing solar electrification to off-grid health clinics, pre-electrification surveys are conducted that collect disaggregated demographic, electrification and health related data relevant to the clinic. LTBLI then conduct post-electrification surveys to re-assess and measure impacts after 6 months of electrification.
Outcomes will include 24-hour maternity services, improved maternal, child, and adolescent health care as well as improved indoor air quality and higher retention rates of skilled health care workers.
3 out of 12 health centers have been solar electrified since 11/15/16. 2 more Health Centers will receive solar systems in June 2017. 42,652 people now have access to electrified health clinics in their communities, and the attended birth rate at the clinics has improved by 100% (from 5 to 10 births/week). Furthermore, the staff retention rates and on-time reporting by key staff have been improved, as noted by the Regional Health Ministerial of Gomba DIstrict.