Malawi expects more public hospitals to have uninterrupted power charged by solar power. This is a move the government hopes will save lives across the country; the minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi has disclosed.
With support from the Global Fund, the Malawian government has procured 85 power kits ranging from 5 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts that are being installed in various facilities throughout the country.
The installation which began 5 weeks ago will be completed by 20th December, 2017. “I have a list of all those 85 facilities which have solar power kits installed and will be able to focus on essential services,” said Muluzi.
It may not be sufficient to cover all the requirements of the facilities, but it will go a long way in relieving some of the pressure that has been on the gensets. Malawi’s electrical grid has taken an big hit leaving hospitals relying on diesel generators.
The plan is that with the support from a Canadian partner, all the health facilities in Kasungu and Chitipa are going to start using solar power very soon. “However, under the Global Fund grant in 2018, we are targeting the remaining facilities. We started with 85 facilities and we are now going to the remaining ones next year,” Muluzi further added.
We are also looking at a more integrated system that allows us, alongside private companies, to make sure that the central hospitals and districts facilities, from next year, should be mostly dependent on solar power as opposed to diesel gensets which could be more expensive.
The progress of installation is around 40% with the current 85 facilities. “In the coming year we are also going to include the additional facilities,” Mr Muluzi added.