PAHO boosts energy saving at local health facilities

The Ministry of Health will soon reap tangible saving from energy consumption techniques at its health facilities via an Energy Benchmarking tool provided by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO, the ministry’s Communications Unit has said.

According to the unit, Saint Lucia is the first Caribbean country to benefit from an Energy Benchmarking Tool newly created by USAID Caribbean Clean Energy Programme (CARCEP) for t PAHO.

 PAHO plans to introduce this tool throughout the Caribbean.

The Energy Efficiency Promotion Specialist with CARCEP, John Marcocchio, has explained that the Energy Benchmarking Tool is a web based instrument, enabling facility managers  to input their data with regards to  consumption of energy in the form of electricity, LPG, Diesel, medical gases and wate.

“They can track their consumption, see how their consumption compares to a baseline data also to other facilities in the region and identify any problem areas that they may have within facility so they can begin addressing those problems,” Marcocchio stated.

Marcocchio highlighted the importance of the tool, given the impact high fuel costs are having on operating budgets of health facilities throughout the Caribbean.

PAHO is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the saving gained is redirected to healthcare and staff well-being, it was explained.

“We don’t want the money to go back to the consolidated fund. The high percentage of the operating budgets go to energy consumption, we want those redirected to patient care. That’s why USAID’s involved, that’s why I am involved. I have been most impressed by PAHO’s efforts in the Caribbean region to assist with disaster mitigation and reduction in operating cost.”

PAHO’s Smart Healthcare Facilities Project is now in seven Caribbean countries namely Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Jamaica, Belize, Guyana and Saint Lucia.

The Planning and Operations Advisor for PAHO’s Smart Hospitals Project, Clemens Buter, said it is extremely important to reduce the negative impacts on climate.

Buter stated that it was for that reason that the focus is on on the green aspect of the project.

A two day workshop was organized to train facility managers in the efficient use and understanding of the Energy Benchmarking Tool.