Country of Operation
- Emergency care
- Family planning and reproductive health
SummaryWe Care Solar designs solar-powered systems to meet essential maternity care needs. We Care Solar Suitcases are designed to be safe, robust and efficient in powering: critical obstetric and surgical lighting, mobile phones, fetal heart rate monitors, and essential medical devices.
Maternal mortality rates in Nigeria are among the highest in the world, with a ratio of 1100 maternal deaths occurring for every 100,000 live births. A large part of this is due to the fact that sporadic electricity impairs the operation of surgical wards, delivery wards, essential hospital equipment, and hospital communications. By equipping off-grid medical clinics with solar power for medical and surgical lighting, walkie-talkies and essential medical devices, WE CARE Solar facilitates timely and appropriate emergency care, reducing maternal and infant morbidity and mortality and improving the quality of care in Africa, Haiti and other regions.
Key program components
WE CARE Solar brings portable solar electric kits to clinics and small hospitals to power lighting, mobile communication and essential medical equipment for emergency obstetric care. The solar suitcases are low-cost, easy-to-use, robust and reliable, enabling health care workers in low-resource areas to provide safe and prompt obstetric care. The WE CARE Solar Suitcase powers overhead LED lighting, charges cell phones or two-way radios, and includes LED headlamps that come with their own rechargeable batteries. These systems are designed to be user-friendly, robust, durable, and nearly maintenance-free. They can be reproduced and easily installed in existing hospitals and clinics that have unreliable/problematic power systems.
Key design features include:
Whole System Integration: the lighting appliances and power production components are delivered as one unit, designed for daily use.
Safety: the sealed batteries can safely be stored inside health facilities; the low-voltage DC system avoids shock hazard and includes overcurrent protection.
Low Maintenance: there are no fuses to replace, and no regular battery maintenance is required. Battery replacement is estimated to occur every 2 years.
Durability: our high quality components are designed for longevity, even in harsh environments.
Simplicity: one switch turns on the system; another turns on lights and charges devices. The system is plug-and-play and can be installed without need for an experienced solar technician.
Expandability: the 15 amp modular system is designed for expansion and can accommodate up to 200 watts of solar panels and a 140 amp-hour sealed battery.
The first deployment of the Solar Suitcases occurred in June 2009. Now these systems have been introduced in fourteen countries. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, we were asked to send solar suitcases to aid medical relief teams in tent cities and maternity clinics.
- We Care SolarNot-for-profit