Sunday, August 11, 2013

Energy Poverty Affects Healthcare and Education

Energy poverty has many negative implications. Many efforts are focused on bringing energy to individual’s homes, meanwhile schools and health centers are being overlooked. It was estimated that more than 291 million children in developing countries go to a school that does not have access to electricity. This means that kids are faced with the challenge of sitting in cold, damp and poorly ventilated rooms. It is not unheard of for teachers to keep windows open during the cold season in order to allow the natural sunlight to fill the classroom. Going to a school that does not have electricity is problematic in more ways than one and it hinders the children’s ability to get a proper education—which is particularly important in developing countries. Another area that is greatly impacted by energy poverty is healthcare. Over 1 billion people in developing countries do not have access to adequate medical facilities. Many health centers are doing their best to make due without a proper supply of energy but it is a constant struggle. For example, in Kenya it is said that only 25% of facilities have a reliable energy supply. Additionally, it is common for health centers to experience blackouts that last several hours. Unfortunately, purchasing a generator is often out of the question due to the fact that they are so expensive. Lack of energy makes it difficult for doctors to do their jobs; delivering babies in dark rooms is a common occurrence. Furthermore, when the power goes out there are still medical instruments that need to be sterilized and there are vaccines that need to be kept in a cool environment. Energy poverty is serious and many people, young and old, are directly impacted by it. It is up to the developed nations to step in and assist these people in need.

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