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2018 CAMPAIGN

Co-founder Dr. Laura Stachel went to Northern Nigeria in 2008 to study ways to lower maternal mortality in state hospitals. She witnessed deplorable conditions in state facilities including sporadic electricity that impaired maternity and surgical care. Without a reliable source of electricity, nighttime deliveries were attended in near darkness, cesarean sections were cancelled or conducted by flashlight, and critically ill patients waited hours or days for life-saving procedures. The outcomes were often tragic.

Together with her husband Hal, a solar energy educator in California, they founded We Care Solar to improve maternal health outcomes in regions without reliable electricity. Hal designed an off-grid solar electric system, the We Care Solar Suitcase, to provide health facilities with highly efficient solar energy systems to power medical lighting, mobile communication and essential medical devices and can be used in a range of medical and humanitarian settings.

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PROBLEM
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USING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR SAFER BIRTHS

The Problem

We Care Solar envisions a world where all women survive childbirth, obtain life-saving care without unnecessary delays, and give birth with dignity in well-lit health facilities. We Care Solar promotes safe motherhood and reduces maternal mortality in frontline health facilities by providing health workers with reliable lighting, mobile communication, and medical devices using solar electricity. The Solar Suitcase design is based on 10 years of field research. The V3 prototype was tested in Ghana and Uganda, and end user and installer feedback was incorporated into the final design. We Care Solar builds local capacity through Solar Suitcase installations, use, and maintenance with in-depth training for installers and government technicians to create effective, sustainable programs. On-site training of health workers is a necessary component of their program model. Using evidence-based best practices to implement and strengthen their programs, We Care Solar is reflective and continually improving approach helps them ensure effective use of resources to maximize their impact.

Solution

THE WE CARE SOLAR SUITCASE

The Solution

The We Care Solar Suitcase provides health facilities in areas without reliable electricity with highly efficient solar energy systems to power medical lighting, mobile communication and essential medical devices and can be used in a range of medical and humanitarian settings.

​Key Design Features 
  • Whole System Integration – The lighting, appliances, and power production components are delivered as one unit, designed for daily use.

  •  Safety – The LFP batteries can safely be stored inside health facilities; the low-voltage DC system avoids shock hazard and includes over-current protection.

  • Low Maintenance – There are no fuses to replace and no regular battery maintenance is required. Battery replacement is estimated to occur every five years.

  • Durability – Our high quality components are designed for longevity, even in harsh environments.

What We Did

WHAT WE DID TOGETHER

With the funds raised from hundreds of people who joined the Mothers' Day Movement to shift gift-giving on Mother's Day, We Care Solar was instrumental in changing outcomes for mothers and newborns by making childbirth safer. Together, we helped light multiple maternal clinics with We Care Solar Suitcases and train healthcare workers on their installation, use, and maintenance.

$69.71

Average Contribution

660

Number of Donations

$77,000

Together, We Raised

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