Ongoing Projects – Solar power to light up every birth

The Gambia has many rural government health clinics with no access to reliable electricity. At night, with no lights, no way to charge a cell phone and no way to power equipment. In these clinics, When nighttime emergencies strike there is often very little health care workers can do in the dark. For women who are experiencing difficult labor and delivery, that lack of light can put them and their babies at risk.

Power Up Gambia in partnership with We Care Solar and the Gambia Ministry of Health and Social Welfare have worked together to provide Solar Suitcases to these clinics- providing solar power energy solutions to light up their labor rooms. s on and meet their patients needs. We Care Solar developed a “solar suitcase” specifically to improve maternal health in rural clinics without power. Durable, portable, inexpensive, easy to install and maintenance free, these Solar Suitcases allow the clinic staff to have bright lights at night, cell phone charging during the day, and a fetal heart monitor to keep an eye on the health of babies during labor.

The Solar Suitcase was designed for simplicity and durability. The user friendly units come with simple instructions and require no maintenance beyond the occasional cleaning of panels. Their simple composition of high quality parts guarantees standardized off-grid solar and battery power capable of standing up to the heavy
demands of the clinics.

Funded by a We Care Solar grant, working closely with the Gambia Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and supported by private individuals, Rotary clubs and student
groups, there are now over 58 solar suitcases installed in clinics in and around The Gambia. The impact of these solar suitcases has had a huge impact on morale of the clinic staff. Midwives are able to see clearly with bright, durable lights when delivering babies during the night. Doctors and nurses will be able to monitor fetuses in utero. When an emergency referral to a hospital is needed, the nurses have the ability to call for help. For clinics that have never had access to electricity, these suitcases are a complete game changer– and literal life saver.

Power Up Gambia is committed to working with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to ensure these solar suitcases are well maintained and replacement parts are available for any repairs. With your support, we can ensure no mother needs to labor in the dark.