According to the World Bank, only 24% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa has access to electricity. This is even lower than the average 40% in other developing countries of the world.
Health centers in Africa are faced with the challenge of lack of convenient and cost friendly ways of ensuring that medicines and vaccines are kept refrigerated.
They resort to using diesel powered generators to run their refrigerators. Operating the generators raises the cost two or three times more. The power outages that may result when the centre cannot afford refrigeration introduce the risk of using damaged medical supplies.
“Well trained medical staff are also unwilling to live in rural areas when there is no access to lighting,” says Keith Bomera who heads the technical team at TASS.
“We installed solar systems in health centres in Tanzania. Previously, they were using gas powered fridges that were expensive to maintain. With the systems that we installed, they were able to have reliable and cost friendly refrigeration which improved medical care in the communities.”