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We Care Solar promotes safe motherhood and reduces maternal mortality in developing regions by providing health workers with reliable lighting, mobile communication, and blood bank refrigeration using solar electricity.
We Care Solar saves lives in childbirth by making solar power simple. We offer energy solutions for health clinics in the developing world.
Pregnancy complications claim the lives of 360,000 mothers and contributes to 3.2 million stillbirths and 3.6 million neonatal deaths a year. Most of these losses occur in Africa and Asia where over 300,000 health facilities lack reliable electricity to support safe delivery. Our research has revealed that without electricity, health facilites cannot provide safe and timely care. Midwives struggle to deliver babies by kerosene lantern or candlelight. Physicians cancel or delay c/sections, or perform surgery under substandard conditions. Many women choose to deliver at home, hoping to avoid inadequate obstetric care in facilities without light.
We Care Solar designs and manufactures the Solar Suitcase, a rugged, portable solar electric system. The enhanced lighting and mobile communication improves the capacity of health providers to promptly care for mothers and newborns, allows midwives to immediately call for help during emergencies, and thus improves critical elements of maternal health care.
We Care Solar has four main areas of programming: (1) Our Solar Suitcase Programs, which include development and delivery of our high-efficiency solar electric systems, (2) Education Programs, which includes international capacity building workshops and well as educational programs in the United States (3) Research on the performance and clinical impact of our solar electric systems, and (4) Advocacy and Outreach.
Our Solar Suitcases are being used in 160 centers in 17 countries, and our educational programs have been piloted in four nations. We have won numerous awards including the Nokia Heath Technology Innovations Award, and received media attention from ABC, CBC, NPR, PBS, and other sources. We Care Solar is demonstrating that reliable electricity and lighting is a cost-effective intervention that can deliver dramatic results against an urgent challenge.
- Rachel Yanda
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