In two days I’ll be heading back to Nigeria armed with two suitcases filled with equipment. One will have the LED headlamps and new LED lightbulbs procured for the operating room and maternity wards. The other will have boxes of equipment for augmenting the range of the walkie-talkies. Tom Ohlsson of Red Dog Radios made it his personal mission to improve the functioning of the radios. He devised a system of linking two VHF radio units together; along with a duplexer and two antennas we should be able to transmit messages up to 12 miles away from the hospital.
The hospital staff are excited and eager to help. They are collecting data on current challenges with inadequate lighting and lack of mobile communication. When I arrive, we’ll see how things improve when there are six functioning walkie-talkies and LED headlamps for every staff on night duty.
Muyi Lawal, the CEO of Solar Electric Systems, Ltd., has scoped out the hospital this week. The plan is for his staff to meet me at the hospital the day after my arrival, and for the solar installation to begin shortly thereafter.
It’s bound to be an exciting visit, and my biggest challenge at this point is how to find any space in my luggage for clothes or books!
* lestachel’s blog