New Delhi– The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has inked an MoU with the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) to launch Solar for Healthcare, an initiative focusing on supply of solar power in government medical institutions, said an official statement.
The collaboration will help in providing effective healthcare delivery at the last mile by reducing uncertainty in critical infrastructure, particularly electricity supply.
“The collaboration with CEEW will bring together synergies between the objective of ‘time to care’ as mandated in the National Health Mission (NHM) and clean energy as outlined under the National Solar Mission (NSM),” said Soumya Swaminathan, Director General of ICMR.
CEEW is a policy research institution.
Swaminathan said that under the collaboration, on a pilot basis, both the organisations will install solar systems at select primary health centres in partnership with three state governments and evaluate its impact on healthcare delivery and health outcomes.
“The aim of the collaboration is to create resilient health systems in rural India, benefitting primarily women and children,” said Swaminathan.
As of 2015, nearly 35 million citizens in rural India relied on un-electrified primary health centres for primary health services. In the absence of electricity, services catered by health institutions such as institutional deliveries, paediatric emergencies, and administering of vaccines get severely affected.