In rural areas, health care is usually provided through local health stations. A single health station provides basic care for an average of 10,000 people.
However, health stations often do not have electricity, so health care is very limited:
- Treatment is insufficiently possible after dark (approx. 6 pm) with kerosene lamps or candles.
- Pre- and post-examination of pregnant women is limited and birth companions are often not possible at night.
- Vaccinations are only irregular because vaccines cannot be stored in a cool place on site.
- Emergency care in the event of an accident is not possible, as is a visit to the health station outside the station after dusk.
- Without a reliable way to charge mobile phones, the health station is often unreachable – and cannot even make contact with central health centres.
The Solar Energy Foundation has already supplied solar energy to more than 200 health stations in Africa and Asia.
“The solar light has changed everything. So far, I have closed the health ward at 6 pm. After that, we were only able to carry out treatment in an emergency to a limited extent, because we simply did not have any light. Now that is finally possible. And now more and more pregnant women are coming to us. Interestingly, most births are at night. We can now help with complications, while in the case of births in the huts, any complication is a great danger.”
(Midwife in a Kenyan health station)
Rural health stations are of particular importance for the objective of slowing down or preventing the spread of the Corona virus:
- They serve as the first contact points for support coordinated by the State and international aid organisations.
- They are centres for educating the population about health and protection measures and a point of contact for primary care;
International aid is first deployed where there is reliable infrastructure and personnel. Trained personnel are first sent to where there is an expanded infrastructure. This always includes a sufficient power supply for light and communication.
That is why our aid is essential for all further aid.
As part of the COVID-19 provision, 72 health stations in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya recently received solar energy: installed by the local partners of the Solar Energy Foundation and financed by numerous private and institutional donors, such as Rotary Mainz, Merck Family Foundation, Signify Foundation, Adalbert Zajadacz Foundation or the Enzkreis District Council.
The solar components
The solar equipment we install varies according to needs and local possibilities. It consists of the following components:
- Solar refrigerator for cooling medicines and vaccines
- Permanently installed solar light for the treatment rooms
- Solar headlamp for concentrated treatment light
- High-light safety lamps for outdoor lighting
- Mobile solar lamps for outdoor use/home visits
- Fetal dopplers for ultrasound prevention in pregnant women
- Battery charger for mobile phones, Doppler, headlamp