SusTech4Africa Challenge Theme: Energy.
Kambasco’s Energy for Health Project focuses on coordinating and accelerating efforts to expand access to energy to rural and off grid health facilities. Their goal is to ensure access and sustained use of renewable energy services in health facilities which is critical and life saving for people who access services from off-grid health centers.
In collaboration with Uganda’s Ministry of Health and local government leadership, Kambasco Technologies recently undertook a detailed evaluation of the electrification status and power needs of 35 government owned/managed health facilities in Mukono, Yumbe, Kaliro, Oyam, Kitgum, Nakasongola, and Adjumani.
Completed in November of 2018, this Needs Assessment involved facility level energy audits and the preliminary design of solution sets, focusing on renewable-based decentralized and hybrid solutions, and taking into account gender-specific considerations. Designed to complement other Government and institutional efforts to provide access to electricity to community institutions (e.g. the ERT project), the Needs Assessment focused on health centres not prioritized by grid extension or other rural electrification plans.
Priority districts were identified following consultations with health officials after comprehensive mapping of all government-owned health facilities in the West Nile, Eastern and Central Uganda.
As the off-grid solar industry is moving beyond household solutions to enabling productive use of energy with new applications for powering health centers, refrigeration, and even machinery, we are focused on providing health centres with the highly innovative top quality SoloGrid power hub which is providing AC power (150W) at 150V and up to 160W DC power configured to provide between 400WH to 900WH of energy per day allowing for not only lighting, phone charging, TV but also powering small vital medical equipment such as sewing machines, microscope, tablets, laptops and radio communications. The units will also be used to extend the extra electricity to the health centers’ staff quarters and connecting neighboring community households and productive use small businesses close to the health centers to ensure the long term sustainability of the project after the initial funding runs out.
They have launched a campaign to help 13 health centers in Mukono district to access electricity starting with Mpunge Health center. The power requirement at the health center is of 15 power Bloxes which is approximately 30,750 Euros but we realized that the maternity ward is hit the most as doctors and health workers use their phone torches to attend to key emergencies during child birth so we decided to first fund raise for the first power Blox solution for the Maternity word to reduce the problem . This will help in lighting up the way and the ward the provide AC power for microscope cool vaccines and medicine plus phone charging.
We expect it help serve 400 patients every month from a pool of 30,000 people surrounding the Mpunge health center. The installation of the energy systems will also enable the health centers staff to use heat-based sterilization for their reusable medical appliances as well as power other medical equipment. There will be increased healthcare centres lighting with both ambient (general space lighting), task (lighting for special tasks which is generally focused and brighter) and security (outdoor space lighting around buildings and pathways). The availability of reliable electricity at the health centers will help spur in greater investment in ICT in health centre facilities due to the services offered and the large number of patients served.
Once the system is installed, the government will start making budgets for the pay as you go solution to fill the remaining energy gap of 14 Power Bloxes. They are in Partnership with SolarPipo, Mukono District Council, Power Africa Uganda Accelerator - USAID, USEA and Flex Grid, OVO.