Solar Power Lights the Way for Maternal Health in Nigeria

Unreliable power supply is among the greatest impediments to health care in Nigeria. The tens of billions of dollars “invested” in power production by successive governments has had a reverse effect on power production. Surgical operations interrupted by power outage is a common occurrence. Hospitals are frequently unable to maintain stock of blood transfusion products and drugs that require refrigeration.

Enter Laura Stachel, a retired obstetrician-gynecologist and Associate Director of Emergency Obstetric Research for the Bixby Center of Population Health and Sustainability at UC Berkeley: she has been researching maternity care in Nigeria over the last two years, in collaboration with the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria. Dr Stachel co-founded WE CARE Solar, which has designed portable solar electric kits that fit in a suitcase-sized package (“solar suitcases”).

In this video, Dr. Stachel demonstrates the impact of a basic solar-powered lighting system and how energy-efficient LED lights revolutionized the quality of care in a Nigerian maternity ward.

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