Strengthening the health care capacity for refugee camps in Uganda


    March 12, 2021


    As the virus continued to spread in Uganda, Signify Foundation and its partners provided solar-powered lighting to strengthen the infrastructure of health centers in need.


    Installing solar-powered lighting in health facilities in Uganda strengthens the local capacity to serve the population impacted by COVID-19. This project was funded by the Signify Foundation in partnership with Ministry of Health Uganda, Village Energy, and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). It began in July 2020 – a crucial response to the COVID-19 pandemic – seeking to improve service delivery for Level III and IV Health Centers across Uganda.

    In addition to the solar home systems and lanterns distributed to the health centers, street lights were also installed, boosting security and providing a safe working space for the healthcare workers during the night.

    After reaching Uganda in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the many challenges of the healthcare sector – including poor and limited access to lighting. As soon as the sun sets, health centers and ambulance bases, are forced to operate in the dark, seriously handicapping the overall functioning of the healthcare system.

    The Ocea-C Health Centre III
    The Ocea-C Health Centre III previously had solar lights installed. However, the system was faulty and kept switching on and off. So, between 6:30pm and 8pm, the entire health center, located on Muduuma hill some 20 kilometers out of Mpigi Town, was covered in pitch darkness. The midwives had resorted to using phone lights to conduct their evening activities.

    The new lights were strategically installed in the emergency reception areas, while two outdoor lights were installed, one near the makeshift tent that now houses the inpatient male ward. Another was placed in the compound to light the path to the latrine facilities which health officials said has played a big role in improving the sanitation around the health center. The outside light also turned out useful for other expectant mothers who took strolls around the ward, waiting for their turn to be attended to.

    At the ward, patients were struggling, using mobile phone lights to go about activities, but the new outdoor light is now changing the ward and easing care for patients."

    Overall, this project has help electrify 43 health centers, a protection house, eight help desks, staff quarters, and three base camps all over Uganda and has shown an improvement in service delivery at the facilities.

    It has also improved security at the health centers and facilities for the health workers and staff. Since the solar systems were installed, the health centers and facilities have been able to provide medical attention to patients for longer hours and have also been able to attend to emergencies during the night.
    The health center - health workers
    The health centers serve hundreds of thousands of people who are now able to access health services under improved conditions, with improved protection.
    The health center

    About the author:

    Martha Osiro

    Martha Osiro

    Program Manager, Signify Foundation, Uganda


    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Global Integrated Communications
    Neil Pattie
    Tel: + 31 6 15 08 48 17

    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals, consumers and the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2023, we had sales of EUR 6.7 billion, approximately 32,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for seven consecutive years and have achieved the EcoVadis Platinum rating for four consecutive years, placing Signify in the top one percent of companies assessed. News from Signify can be found in the Newsroom, on X, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors is located on the Investor Relations page.

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