COVID-19 and Global Health Inequality

by | Apr 20, 2020 | LTBLI news and updates | 0 comments

Written by guest author Bridget Ryan

As a student majoring in International Development, I study global inequalities and health. This is especially relevant today. During the global pandemic, the importance of healthcare access and delivery has become increasingly evident. For too many, healthcare is not a right or part of a robust social safety net but an out-of-reach privilege. In fact, 3.8 billion people globally and 27.5 million people in the United States have no health insurance. Furthermore, 1 in 4 health clinics in sub-Saharan Africa lack electricity. As we all know, COVID-19 is challenging health care systems around the world. Unfortunately, the pandemic demonstrates the vast and growing inequalities in medical access, delivery and services.

Pandemic Normal

Many of us are struggling to adjust to the new “pandemic normal.” However, we also should realize that we have a unique opportunity to shine a light on injustices. Researchers, communities, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and others are joining together to address issues grounded in poverty, health and the environment. A common theme is that access to energy is essential to address inequalities. Despite the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, COVID-19 has empowered us with the knowledge that we do have the power to support positive change.

Locally, essential workers are being shown appreciation in small acts of kindness. Globally, we are celebrating and supporting healthcare workers fighting for us on the front lines. Our ability to connect and to take collective action gives us hope in these dark times.

Action and Hope

Working with Let There Be Light International, I have seen the direct impact of individual and collective action. Donated solar lights are allowing off-grid students to study after dark. Solar-electrifying rural health clinics provides thousands of vulnerable community members with better care for longer hours.

Here, in the industrialized North we can take our access to healthcare for granted. But, handling COVID-19 or any health challenge without access to modern, electrified health centers or safe light at home is unimaginable. 

In order to make the best out of a bad situation, we can demonstrate the power of individual action and global unity. We can donate solar to make a home safer. Or, we can work together to solar-electrify an off-grid clinic. We have an opportunity to promote public health and equality across the globe. Let’s take it! 


My Summer Solar Internship

Hannah Schulman is this summer's Energy Poverty Intern at Let There Be Light International (LTBLI). She is a rising...

Brightening Lives in Amolatar, Uganda

Last month, Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) implemented one of its most comprehensive solar projects to-date. Working in cooperation with local stakeholders and another US-based nonprofit, LTBLI launched three (3) of its signature solar projects in the...

A Snapshot of our 2022 Solar Celebration

Click here to see the gallery as individual photos. Shine On! [gallery size="large"...

Reflecting on One Million Lives Impacted by Solar Lights

Eight years ago, Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) began solar programming in Uganda with its first official partner. 8 years later, LTBLI is marking a major milestone – One Million lives impacted by solar programming in 3 countries. You may wonder how we...

Solar Lights are Changing Lives in Salalira

Guest blog written by Olivia Owino, M&E and Training Consultant to LTBLI and Solar Health Uganda (based in Uganda). Let There Be Light International’s maternal and infant health project, Safe Births and Healthy Homes (SB+HH), has changed the lives of many mothers...

Lights4Literacy Shines During COVID-19

Guest blog written by Siriman Kiryowa, Solar Health Uganda Field Research Analyst.Lights4Literacy is an innovative solar project in Uganda. It is a collaborative educational program undertaken by Let There Be Light International (LTBLI), Kyosiga Community Christian...

Shine On: Campus Voices – Connor Flynn

Connor Flynn, an Environmental Studies student at The University of Washington, connected with Let There Be Light International while developing his e-commerce clothing brand, Transcendental Dreamer. In an interview with LTBLI Communications Consultant Rachel...

Celebrating Solar on World Energy Day

Let There Be Light International is marking World Energy Day by celebrating the hundreds of thousands of off-grid lives in Uganda, Kenya and Malawi brightened by our innovative solar programming! When LTBLI began working...

My Summer Internship

Written by guest author Annie Lee Inclusive Sustainable Development and Storytelling through Interactive Mapping Tools My name is Annie Lee, and I spent the summer of 2021 working as a Solar Intern for Let There Be Light International (LTBLI). As a rising Senior at...

An Earth Day Message

We all have our own capacities and talents and together we can save our home, the earth.