- STORIES OF HOPE
STORIES OF HOPE
WE CARE SOLAR
In 2009, WE CARE SOLAR designed a photovoltaic system to power lighting, medical equipment,
a blood bank refrigerator, and communication equipment in a major municipal hospital in Northern Nigeria. This system targets maternal health care by powering the following:
- Overhead surgical lighting in areas of critical need such as the operating room and
labor and delivery
- Mobile telecommunications between hospital staff and on-call physicians
- Existing on-site surgical equipment that is currently underutilized
- A 12V DC blood bank refrigerator
- Battery chargers that power LED headlamps for night duty workers
The Solar Suitcase – A Portable Innovation
They also designed a portable solar electric system that fits in a suitcase. The “WE CARE Solar Suitcase” powers overhead LED lighting, charges cell phones or two-way radios, and includes LED headlamps that come with their own rechargeable batteries. The first deployment of these systems occurred in June 2009. Now these systems have been introduced in fourteen countries, including Haiti, to aid medical relief teams after the 2010 earthquake, and Liberia, where we worked with the World Health Organization on a study of the effects of electricity on maternal health outcomes.
WE CARE SOLAR Suitcases are user-friendly, robust, durable, and nearly maintenance-free. They work in mobile settings or can be easily installed in existing hospitals and clinics lacking reliable source of power. Improved surgical lighting, enhanced usage of existing medical equipment, and the support of mobile telecommunication systems reduces delays in providing care, and increases the capacity of health workers to care for patients with obstetric complications. In addition, workers report more confidence in performing skilled care, and no longer fear night duty.
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