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Update from Northern Nigeria

This is my very first time accessing internet since I arrived in Nigeria six days ago. So much to share!
The four hospital solar electric systems were functioning well, and on this trip I brought equipment to increase the safety of each system by adding circuit breakers for the batteries, and boxes to hold the circuit breakers in place. I reviewed the hospital records and learned that the maternal mortality rate in the hospital is one-third of what it was in the past.

I spent two evenings in the Pediatrics ward and watched as the nurse strained to provide care for children with diagnoses I had only read about in the past: Typhoid, Cerebral Malaria, Tetanus, and Severe Malnutrition. Without light, it was so difficult to provide intravenous medications and careful care. With the permission of the hospital medical director, we decided to adapt one of our solar suitcases for the Pediatric ward. Dr. Muazu agreed to split the cost of the additional equipment needed to complete the lighting system, which will be installed on Friday.

I visited Baban Dodo, the primary health care clinic that proudly owns our first clinic sized solar suitcase, and learned that the midwives are no longer doing deliveries by CANDLELIGHT. They LOVE having the solar light, and told me it most definitely has been saving lives. They can now identify complications, suture lacerations, and perform better assessments and care of newborns. They also told me that some women in the community are coming to have their babies in the clinic because they know they can deliver with light.

I meet with the head of the primary health care centers later this week, who have asked to adopt the solar lighting for more clinics in the area.

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR AMAZING SUPPORT – I have been shedding tears of happiness today.
Laura

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