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.