UNICEF completes the solarization of 150 primary healthcare centers and hands over to the Ministry of Public Health
Beirut, 23 June 2023 – Today the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and UNICEF announced the completion of the solarization of 150 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCCs) to ensure immunization and essential public health services are not interrupted in Lebanon. The announcement was made during a handover ceremony at Dar El-Fatwa Health Center, one of the solarized centers, with the attendance of Minister of Public Health, UNICEF Representative and German Ambassador.
As of end of May, 150 PHCCs in Lebanon are running completely on solar energy ensuring the sustainability of immunization service delivery and other healthcare services. The project of solarizing 150 PHCCs was completed within a record time of 13 weeks to provide immediate support during the ongoing electricity crisis. The project was developed through the funding support of government of Germany, through the KfW Development Bank, as well as the United States Government.
The solarization of Primary Health Care Centers is supporting the health facilities in continuation of essential health services and aims to ensure equity in healthcare service provision with quality during the extensive electricity cuts.
“Through the installation of solar panels on these Primary Health Care Centers the essential cold chain for vaccines can be guaranteed without using costly and polluting diesel generators,” said German Ambassador to Lebanon Andreas Kindl. “It is vital that national routine vaccinations and essential primary health care services continue without interruption. I am very happy to see that Germany can provide support to the Lebanese people.”
Due to the urgent need of solar PV systems, UNICEF worked with two solarization agencies in parallel to solarize 150 PHCCs, often simultaneously at multiple sites. Teams worked simultaneously at multiple sites while adhering to quality assurance of solar PV systems installed including solar equipment and protection as well as accessories and electrical wiring.
“UNICEF is committed to accelerating its efforts to deliver results for children and their families and today we are proud to have completed the solarization of 150 PHCCs as planned,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon. “Reliable electricity is critical to enable basic primary healthcare, deliver vaccination services and maintain preventive, promotive and curative services to protect e children, women and community from life-threatening diseases.”
UNICEF is currently solarizing 13 additional PHCCs to be delivered by end of June. This will take the total number to 163, which equals nearly the entire PHCCs network, with the exception only of those centers where solar installation was not feasible. However, more than 600 dispensaries providing immunization services are still struggling with extreme electricity cuts. UNICEF is currently assessing the feasibility of solarizing these dispensaries and is exploring funding support to solarize around 300 dispensaries so that ‘No One Is Left Behind.’
We encourage parents and caregivers to ensure timely follow-up on their children’s vaccination appointments at the nearest public health facilities, available across the country.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org/lebanon/.