Solar Suitcases replace candles and kerosene lanterns with bright, efficient LED lights, and provide electricity for phone charging, fetal monitoring and small medical devices, enabling health workers to provide-life-saving-care. Solar Suitcases are designed to be safe, robust and efficient. By powering critical obstetric lighting, mobile phones, and fetal heart rate monitors, health workers are equipped with “the power to save lives”.
The Light Every Birth Campaign
We Care Solar believes that every mother has the right to safe childbirth in a clean, well-lit facility. The International Light Every Birth campaign aims to build a coalition of government agencies, development partners, and implementing organizations to advocate for clean energy solution to strengthen maternal-newborn care.
Speaking about the Light Every Birth campaign, Christina Briegleb who is the Director of Global Programs at We Care Solar said that the campaign was launched in 2017 and called on governments, UN agencies and local and international NGOs to uplift maternal-newborn care making a commitment to ensure every health facility has a medical lighting and continuous power for safe deliveries. This she said was the first-time energy access has been prioritized for all health care institutions at the national level. She said that Liberia and Uganda were the first two countries to make a commitment to the Light Every birth; now Ministry officials in Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe are seeking to become Light Every Birth Partners. She said that We Care Solar will engage partners, influencers and decision makers through a global advocacy and communications campaign. The goal is to highlight selected countries as “Models of Excellence” for electrification of maternity care – with long term vision of elevating the Light Every Birth campaign to a continental and global scale.
In Sierra Leone, We Care Solar has worked closely with partners from the Ministry of Health, Doctors for Africa CUAMM, Medical Research Centre, UNFPA to provide reliable lightning and electricity to support maternal health since 2012. To date, a total of 177 Solar Suitcases have been installed in health facilities across the country.
She said that the Light Every Birth Campaign will be officially launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and implementing partners and will install and additional 300 Solar Suitcases throughout the country. She said that We Care Solar is seeking additional partners with expertise in maternal health, solar installation and/or technical training.
The We Care Solar Suitcase
A presentation about the We Care Solar Suitcase installed in Health facilities in Sierra Leone was done by Anael Hamilton a season Medical Electronics and Solar Technician. He highlighted the various components of the Solar Suitcase and said that anyone can be trained to easily install and maintain the suitcases. Participants priveledged to test the functionality of the suitcase to have a practical idea of how it works.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can partner with We Care Solar to Light Every Birth, please contact Christina Briegleb, We Care Solar’s Director of Global Programs. Visit https://wecaresolar.org/ to learn more about We Care Solar