Dr. Jacques Sebisaho revealed the power of the Solar Suitcase to save lives this December, when he returned to Idjwi clinic in the DR Congo. The clinic has no power, and when night falls, it is impossible to provide adequate medical care. On this trip, Jacques had a Solar Suitcase, which was quickly put to use to illuminate a twin delivery! However, Jacques arrival coincided with the onset of a cholera epidemic. The clinic was flooded with patients needing intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and constant monitoring. The clinic could not house all the patients in need of care, and mats were placed outside on the ground, creating a make-shift outdoor infirmary. The Solar Suitcase was brought from patient to patient, and enabled the team to provide constant monitoring. Though Dr. Sebisaho feared many lives could be lost, he and his team achieved a near-miracle. All the patients treated that month survived – not a single man, woman or child was lost despite the severity of many of the cases. He said that 80% of deaths usually occur at night. Dr. Sebisaho reports that the Solar Suitcase was a life saver, boosting the morale of health workers and inspiring the entire community.
“I believe the light was the force behind everything. I have no words to describe how confident we all were knowing we could do anything anytime (day or night). This sounds obvious to a person here (in the US), but the light meant the world there. I really want to emphasize on light and life in Africa to whoever want to listen. I am grateful you have made sacrifices to make the solar suitcase to make our work easier and successful. I knew the solar would make a difference, but didn’t anticipate the magnitude of the difference it would make! As you can see on pictures, we don’t have much; the solar suitcase is huge for us in Idjwi!
We are so grateful that Dr. Sebisaho had the medical supplies, support, and reliable lighting necessary to treat the community and save so many lives. We anticipate that our little box sunshine will continue to help Idjwa Clinic and other communities in rural DR Congo in the years to come.