Haiti’s Health Care Gets Solar Help

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Above: a solar system at the Mirebalais Hospital (Photo: Partners in Health)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

A partnership between the International Development Bank, the government of Haiti and the Solar Electric Light Fund has completed the installation of solar electric systems at 11 healthcare facilities and one hospital in Haiti.

The project will provide power output of more than 38 kilowatts and provide an energy boost to 170,000 Haitians.

“A doctor cannot be expected to perform life-saving surgeries at night without lights or power for medical equipment,” said SELF Executive Director Bob Freling, “Now, through the provision of reliable solar power, doctors can treat patients at night, diagnose patients at any time and provide vaccines to people in need — all while saving money by decreasing or eliminating the need for diesel fuel.”

The systems will be maintained by eight local Haitian technicians, who will also train energy managers and medical staffs on proper operation and monitoring.

One facility now equipped with solar panels is the Mirebalais National Teaching Hospital, which former US President Clinton visited in March to highlight its solar project.

The hospital, which is a joint project between Partners in Health and its sister organization Zanmi Lasante, completed its first phase in April.

SELF, which is based in Washington, DC, has also installed 68 solar-powered street lamps in the tent camp of Caradeux, among other projects.

 

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