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! 

0 Comments

An Earth Day Message

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

“Energy Poverty Impacts Every Aspect of People’s Lives”

Rachel, Let There Be Light International's Communications Intern, spoke with Dawn, a member of the Wharton Global Impact Consultants (WGIC) team, about energy poverty and Dawn's work with LTBLI in March 2020. Since early March, when the team of volunteers from the...

Learning in the Time of COVID

Written by guest author Siriman Kiryowa, a Field Research Analyst at Solar Health UgandaThe Global Pandemic and Education in UgandaHere in Uganda, students are suffering from the compounded issues of school closings, lack of access to scholastic materials at home and...

Shining Solar and Empowering Women in Off-Grid Africa

Written by guest author Amanda Ulman, Let There Be Light International InternIn the midst of a pandemic, it’s easy to feel powerless. How can you make a difference in the world when your actions are restricted and everyone is socially distancing? I decided to work...

Join the Wharton Global Impact Consultants in Uganda

March 2020, Kiboga, Uganda We are a team of six University of Pennsylvania Wharton MBA students who traveled to Uganda to work with Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) on a field project this past March as part of Wharton’s Global Impact Consultants (WGIC)....

Solar Shines During the Pandemic

Written by guest author Caroline Mwebeza of Solar Health Uganda and Let There Be Light InternationalThe global COVD-19 pandemic illuminates the issue of energy poverty. Accelerating energy access is critically important to improve health outcomes. In last mile health...

Off-Grid and Living By Example

Written by guest author Ron Melchiore, author and off-grid homesteaderBack to the LandI recently came across Let There Be Light International while searching for charities that mirrored the philosophy my wife and I have lived by. As a young man in my early 20’s, I...

Five-Years of Solar Programming – LTBLI’s 2019 Annual Report

Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) is proud to announce the publication of our 2019 Annual Report highlighting our first five years as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit implementing solar programming in sub-Saharan Africa. With a mission to combat climate change and energy...

Solar Programming + Partnerships = a Winning Strategy

Millions of Ugandans live in energy poverty. No grid extends to their homes or community centers. No safe lights illuminate their remote homes. Children use dirty and dangerous kerosene lamps to study at night. Mothers struggle to care for their children. Elders...

Let There Be Light’s Solar Site Visits

Over the last 3 weeks, Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) conducted our annual Solar Site Visits in Kenya and Uganda. We met with hundreds of solar beneficiaries, many of whom told us that having access to safe, renewable lighting is improving their families'...