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First sets of lights are up!

The maternity ward and labor room now have fluorescent and LED lights, and not a moment too soon. Last night the generator for the hospital ran out of fuel while a midwife was doing an surgical repair on a 13 year old. The room went so black that I couldn’t reach the other side of the room without bumping into something. I saw the tiny glow of the red and greens LED light on the charge controller (part of the equipment for the solar electric system), and felt along the wall for the light switch. In another moment the room again had light and this poor girl could have her care completed.

The hospital staff are ecstatic. The workers throughout the hospital have loved the LED headlamps, and have told me how their work has been made easier and safer.

Today we presented this project to the State Ministry of Health. The Permanent Secretary told me that he literally was at a loss for words and the only gift he could offer in return was the fact that so many women’s lives would be saved by this project. He told me the project could be transformative for maternity health care in this country, and would renew the commitment to maternity care.

Dr. Muazu, medical director of Kofan Gayan Hospital and Dr. Shittu, of the Population Reproductive Research Partnership, have arranged for a commissioning of the WE CARE project on Wednesday with esteemed officials coming to a formal ceremony at the hospital to honor the project and see it in action.

Meanwhile, the solar installers are running against the clock to try and get the system fully functioning by Wednesday. The inevitable snafus have delayed parts of the installation, and have prevented me from fully testing the walkie talkie and repeater at this time.

* lestachel’s blog

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