Pregnant women and mothers in Kisii County are set to receive better services at the Matongo Birthing Hospital following the installation of a solar and storage microgrid.
The 8.7KW equipment installed by Schneider Electric and its local partner PowerPoint Systems will supply uninterrupted power for the facility.
The solar microgrid and power back-up systems provide an alternative energy source for the hospital’s maternity section, its vaccine refrigerators, and lighting using lead-acid batteries as a storage device. The batteries are charged during the day by the solar panels.
“From powering the most important devices during childbirth, to providing cost savings for the Matongo Clinic, there are so many benefits that clean and renewable energy brings to communities,” said Ms Samantha Childress, a member of United Solar Initiative’s Board of Directors.
“United Solar Initiative has built a team of strong partners that are helping to realise our mission of empowering communities and improving lives through solar energy,” Ms Childress said.
This project is supported by the global non-profit solar developer United Solar Initiative and Curamericas Global, a long-term nonprofit healthcare partner of the Kisii County health department.
Mr Andrew Herrera, Executive Director, Curamericas Global added: “Prior to this installation, many mothers were giving birth in the dark due to unreliable power supply from the main power grid. Since the installation of the system in August 2020, we have had an increase in deliveries with the facility recording over 20 deliveries per month, an increase of 400 per cent.”
Ms Carol Koech, Country President, Schneider Electric Kenya pointed out the importance of a reliable source of power to medical services saying.
“Reliable electricity is paramount to the provision of medical services, especially for childbirth. Infant and maternal mortality rates drop significantly when women have access to uninterrupted healthcare services.”
She said that plans are underway to extend microgrid projects to other healthcare facilities in Kisii County to ensure that women in the region access essential health services.