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In 10 days, we’re heading back to Nigeria to begin field research in Kano state. We’ll be investigating the use of the second generation WE CARE Solar Suitcase in twelve health maternal health facilities. We’re aiming to collect feedback from midwives and doctors about the Solar Suitcase itself, and we’re hoping to learn how to best adapt the solar suitcase to further mitigate the challenges of working in a low-resource setting. We’ve equipped the newest Solar Suitcases with fetal doppler (to more easily detect fetal well-being or distress), cell phones with SMS capacity (to conduct surveys on clinical care) and remote monitoring (to follow the performance of the solar suitcase 24 hours a day).  We will be looking for local sources of batteries and solar panels, and conducting capacity-building trainings to ensure that their will be local capacity for servicing and expansion of our modular systems. We aim to distribute a total of 36 Solar Suitcases to health facilities in Northern Nigeria in the next several months, and have additional meetings planned with officials from other regions of Nigeria. We are grateful that this research has received substantial support by the MacArthur Foundation, and will continue to collect donations for the solar suitcases themselves.

  • John Durgavich


    My name is John Durgavich, and I’m the Deputy Chief of Party for the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT in Nigeria. The project I work on is supporting distribution of medicines and other health products required for reproductive health, malaria and tuberculosis programs. Currently, we are very active in Bauchi State working on drug logistics management strategies in support of public sector maternal and child health services. As a logistics program, one of our biggest contraints both in transport and storage (particularly in this climate) are cold-chain dependant like vaccines like tetanus toxoid -or products, like oxytocin, which should not be exposed to temperatures above 25 degrees C for extended periods. As a public health program manager, I’m also interested in expanding access to safe delivery services as a component of MCH. Electricity, as you already know, is a problem here. I was wondering if I could learn more about what you’re doing in Nigeria -and see if there are any potential areas of synergy.


    PS I learned about your activities from the NPCA e-Newsletter (I’m an RPCV, Mauritania ’87 – ’89).

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