The Effect of Power Outages on In-Facility Mortality in Healthcare Facilities: Evidence From Ghana

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Global Public Health






The World Bank estimates that at least 25 countries in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa experience chronic power outages. However, the implications of power shortages are often discussed within the context of industrial and economic disruptions, with little attention given to the health impact. Using a nationally representative data of healthcare facilities from the 2012 Ghana Access, Bottlenecks, Cost and Equity (ABCE) Health Facility Survey, this study aims to assess the impact of power outages on in-healthcare facility mortality in Ghana, a country that has experienced worsening energy crises in the last few decades. Findings revealed a positive association between the frequency of power outages and in-facility mortality, with the risk for mortality estimated to increase by 43% for each day the power was out for over 2 h. Further, when compared to an urban healthcare facility experiencing the same frequency of power outages, the risk of mortality was found to be lower in the rural facility. These findings call for a concerted effort among all stakeholders to ensure the availability of consistent power supply in healthcare facilities, in order to provide the necessary environment for the successful provision of healthcare for the citizens of Ghana.