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Using renewable energy to improve the health of mothers and children—and save lives

A dozen people are gathered around a water hand-pump

Country: Tanzania © Emilian Mgumba, SUSTAIN project

Solar-power systems provided by the Canada-funded SUSTAIN project have solved a major challenge at the Janda Health Centre in Buhigwe district, Tanzania. The renewable energy ensures that the centre has the power it needs, when it needs it. The systems power crucial reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services, such as access to refrigerated vaccines and caesarean sections. But this wasn’t always the case.

“Sometimes pregnant mothers who were admitted to our centre had to be referred to the district hospital 50 kilometres away. Some mothers never showed up at all, especially during the night because they were afraid of darkness. This ultimately put their lives at risk.”

Explains dr. Emmanuel Mchaki from the health centre.

Pracseda Fumbe had her baby delivered through caesarean section at the Centre after the solar-power systems were installed.

“I was admitted here during the night, the doctors helped me right away with the caesarean section, and I gave birth to a healthy baby. This could not have been possible before because they would have referred me to another hospital in Kasulu.”

Project profile — Supporting Systems to Achieve Improved Maternal Newborn and Child Health in Kigoma Region

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