Apollo Hospital Enterprise Joint Managing Director and President of FICCI Sangita Reddy has said that the solar energy industry and players can play a crucial role as enablers of healthcare in areas where there is inadequate access to grid-connected power.
Speaking at the Global CEOs session at the first World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS) that was organised by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) yesterday Reddy, stating that India’s large number of primary healthcare centres and sub-centres are a huge opportunity for a “grid waiting to happen,” asked global majors in the solar technology sector to think about innovative solutions to apply their capability and talent to aid healthcare in the country.
“In the health sector, clinics, maternity wards, surgical blocks, medical warehouses and laboratories rely on electricity to refrigerate medicines, to power light to sterilise equipment and to operate live saving surgeries and devices,” Reddy said.
Intermittent or unreliable power puts medical facilities at risk and hence the use of solar to enable the area which is unconnected really opens up tremendous capability, she added. “So to provide this in communities of rural or solar resource constrained settings, we can play a vital role as an enabler of healthcare in areas where there is inadequate access to a grid-connected power,” she added.
Referring to the large numbers of primary healthcare centres and sub-centres, she said, “This is a grid waiting to happen. This is an invitation to global powers across the world focussing on this (solar energy) to think about innovative new solutions to apply their capability and their talent to aid healthcare in India.”
Highlighting the impact of climate change on the health of people, she said it is felt acutely in low and middle income countries.
“Whether it is heat related death, respiratory disease, the spread of malaria, dengue, cholera, or even millions of people displaced by the effects of climate change like storms and flooding because climate change is no longer an ambiguous environmental problem of the distant future. It is here and now and hence action is required here and now,” she said while stressing that solar energy can be an important player in the fight against climate change.