REPORT FROM THE FIELD:
by Solar Ambassador Merritt Gates
We Care Solar
(Solar Suitcase )
GHF collaborated with We Care Solar to install Solar Suitcases
to light up delivery rooms in 58 rural health clinics in northern Tanzania.
Rebecka Kuja (pictured above, center) is a registered nurse at Tunyenye Dispensary in Sengerema District, near Lake Victoria in Tanzania. This facility was chosen to receive a Solar Suitcase because, like so many health centers around the world, it lacks adequate light to conduct deliveries at nighttime.
Since Tunyenye Dispensary is not connected to the electrical grid, I asked Rebecka, “What do you use for light at night?”
She said, “We use the kerosene lamp or cell phone torch, but only when the mother is delivering. The mothers they buy and bring 2 or 3 candles for the rest of the night when they are resting.”
“How does it make you feel to do deliveries without a proper light?”
“I was feeling bad because we work in darkness. You fear the blood splashing on you. You fear the scissors cutting you. Even you can’t care for the mother or baby well.”
As she spoke of her past experiences, stress and despair permeated her face. I asked, “And now how do you feel that your facility has received a Solar Suitcase?"
The hopelessness melted away with a smile and she replied, “I’m so happy because I will do deliveries well without complications and darkness and I will manage to help the mom and baby.”
The Solar Suitcase includes solar panels, waterproof and break-resistant medical lights, LED headlamps, a fetal monitor, mobile phone charging equipment, rechargeable batteries, and the hardware required for installation in any remote location.