Hospitals to be provided with solar power

Mr Alex Segbefia,Health Minister

Mr Alex Segbefia,Health Minister

Plans are advanced for the execution of a $40,000 solar project, to provide constant power supply to some hospitals in the country.

The pilot project, under the United Nations-sponsored Maternal Health Solar Suitcase Programme, is to be implemented by We Care Solar, an American non-governmental organisation (NGO), in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service, DSTC Solar Training Centre and the Kumasi Institute of Technology and Environment (KITE).

Consequently, We Care Solar has begun an eight-day West Africa regional training to train 16 solar technicians drawn from Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and the Gambia for the execution of the project.

The solar technicians are from the ministries of health of the various countries, and partner organisations of We Care Solar.

Speaking to The Ghanaian Times after the event, the Programme Co-ordinator for the NGO, Ms. Kim Mum, said her organisation was formed in 2009 in California, US, by Dr. Laura Stachel and her husband, Dr. Hal Aronson, following the former’s visit to Nigeria.

She during her visit to Nigeria, Dr. Stachel, a gynaecologist, realised that some hospitals in that country did not have reliable power supply, which was affecting maternal health care delivery.

“When Dr. Stachel went back to the US, she and her husband, who is a solar power engineer, decided to form We Care Solar, and started manufacturing solar suitcases to provide constant supply of power to hospitals in Nigeria and other parts of Africa,” she said.

Currently, Ms. Munn said, We Care Solar was operating in Nigeria, Liberia, Gambia, and the Philippines, and providing solar power suitcases for hospitals in those countries.

The Project Coordinator said the NGO intended to provide 180 hospitals with solar suitcases in Nigeria, Liberia and the Gambia this year hence the training of solar technicians to install and manage the facilities.

Especially in Ghana, she said We Care Solar would provide 10 solar power suitcases in Accra, Akwapem South and Agona East on a pilot basis, after the training and another 100 latter.

“Next year, We Care Solar will be donating 100 solar suitcases to health facilities in Ghana through a partnership with the Kumasi Institute of Technology and Environment,” Ms. Munn said.

Ms. Helena Buabeng, an Administrator of the DSTC Solar Training Centre, said her outfit was proud to be associated with the project.

She said DSTC provide solar training designs and install solar panels across the country, adding that the NGO also offered technical training in solar instillation and maintenance.

The Executive Director of KITE, Ishmael Edjekumhene, said his organisation would install the solar suitcases that would be provided by We Care Solar.

By Kingsley Asare

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