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Expectant Mothers in Rural Nigeria No Longer Give Birth in Darkness

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600 health clinics across sub-Saharan Africa use solar-powered lights and energy systems to stay open for longer and are now able to provide care and treatment to patients beyond daylight hours.

This was made possible with the off-grid energy systems provided by d.light, a global provider of transformational household products and affordable finance for low-income households and communities in the developing world.


Better Care for Expectant Mothers

As a result, the clinics can extend their operating hours. This is especially beneficial for expectant mothers in labor who would otherwise have given birth in darkness.

Chief Matron at Omatosu Basic Health Centre in Nigeria explained, “Before d.light, we would be looking for torchlight in the middle of the night to deliver babies. We no longer have to go through that stress.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that close to one billion people in low- and lower-middle-income countries are served by healthcare facilities without reliable electricity access or with no electricity access at all. According to WHO, 15 percent of healthcare facilities lack any access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, whilst only 50% of hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa report reliable energy access.

Lack of Reliable Electricity a Major Barrier for Healthcare Services

Lack of electricity is a major barrier to the delivery of quality healthcare services, and one that particularly impacts rural communities across the continent.

According to Unicef, the lifetime risk of maternal death ranges from 1 in 5,300 in high income countries to 1 in 49 in low-income countries. For example, in Western Europe, the rate is 1 in 11,000. This rate is drastically and fatally higher in the African continent. Sub-Saharan Africa alone accounts for 70% of global maternal deaths in 2020.

10 Year Long Power Outage Problem Resolved

Ms Olanrewaju Emilia Olanike, Chief Matron at a primary healthcare centre in the Ife South local government area (LGA) of Osun State in Nigeria, described the impact of the solar lanterns on the clinic and its patients, “In the Olode area we have been experiencing a 10-year power outage, so before today we did not have a power supply.

“The installation of this alternate power supply means that our clients who were afraid of coming to us in the night have now been coming. It makes our job easier especially during labour and delivery cases at night.”

Commenting on the milestone of 600 clinics powered by d.light, d.light co-founder Ned Tozun said, “I remember early on in d.light’s history, a nurse shared with me that she had already delivered 15 babies with d.light’s products. Before, they had been delivering babies using only dangerous kerosene lanterns, or they would even have to turn pregnant women away if they were in labour in the middle of the night.”

Since d.light was founded in 2007, the company has transformed the lives of 150 million people worldwide. The majority (55.5%) of d.light’s customers live in sub-Saharan Africa, including 45% in East Africa.

Its range of household products include solar-powered lanterns, cookstoves, solar home systems, TVs, radios, and smartphones, together with its low-cost payment plans that allow customers to pay for their products over time.

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