Women and children in Ghana account for more than half of deaths in the country due to communicable diseases, maternal and perinatal conditions and nutritional deficiencies. The government of Ghana declared maternal mortality as a national emergency in 2008 with the development of the MDG Acceleration Framework. Adding to the above issues regarding women’s health in Ghana, it is further compounded by the lack of reliable energy supply especially in rural parts of the country. In events where there is an emergency delivery at night, some of these facilities resort to using lighting from their motorbikes to aid delivery. These health facilities remain a critically under-resourced area within the overall context of global development and women health issues. For most of these facilities, a medium sized solar PV system will be suitable to meet all their energy needs.
Objectives of the Programme
The KITE/We Care Solar (WCS) Suitcase programme seeks to equip maternal health facilities in low-resource environments in Ghana with Solar Suitcases – a low-cost, rugged, complete solar energy system. The solar suitcase provides sustainable power for lighting, charging of mobile phones, and a foetal heart beat monitor to ultimately help reduce obstacles that impair the successful treatment of obstetric emergencies, maternal and child healthcare.
This KITE/WCS partnership is embarking on installing solar suitcases in rural off grid health facilities or those with unreliable power in the Central and Eastern Regions of Ghana. Out of this 90 to be installed, 10 suitcases have already been installed as pilot. The Solar Suitcases will enable health workers to rapidly respond to obstetric emergencies as and when they occur. This is WCS first program in Ghana.