Mulanje Mission Hospital


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In February 2013, 2 volunteers for Solar Without Frontiers will travel to Malawi to install a solar power system at the Mulanje Mission Hospital.

The equipment for this project is on its way to Malawi and we need to raise € 4000.- to cover the cost of travelling.

The volunteers are taking 2 weeks unpaid leave and offer their services for free.

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Even the smallest contribution is most welcome.

Why solar power at Mulanje Mission Hospital?

Ruth Shakespeare and her colleagues at MMH

Dr. Ruth Shakespeare, Medical Director at Mulanje Mission Hospital

Staff at MMH pride themselves on providing a high standard of care for their patients, but power supply problems are having an adverse impact on the ability of clinicians and nurses to provide quality care – imagine operating by torch light, the labour ward in darkness during a difficult delivery or the effect on a premature baby of a sudden cessation of oxygen supply. All the clinical departments require a reliable source of power for lights, oxygen concentrators, suction – essential for patient care.
Solar power is reliable, clean, easy to install and sustainable and, after the initial outlay for panels and batteries, cheap to run. The climate in Mulanje is suitable for solar power generation on 358 days of the year. The initial capital investment is considerable, not something that the hospital can manage on its own, but the benefits in improved quality of care and reduced utility bills will continue for many years. MMH management has been working with a specialist NGO, Solar Without Frontiers to develop plans for the provision of solar power at MMH. The first priority is provision of lights and power to the paediatric ward, and maternity dept, the second is provision of a low energy light system for hospital corridors. These schemes will enable the hospital to gain experience in the installation and maintenance
of solar equipment, and allow evaluation of the system in normal ward use. The system to be installed will be extendable, so that if evaluation is favourable, it could be developed to provide lights and power for the operating theatre and other wards as a further phase.
We are very excited that the equipment required will soon be on its way to Mulanje! The English Reformed Church in Amsterdam, with Wilde Ganzen, have raised substantial funds for this work. Solar without Frontiers have provided technical support in system design and procurement and will be visiting MMH later in the year to assist in installation and training for staff on maintenance of the equipment. Even with the compelling advantages that solar power offers, the Human Development Report, published by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), shows that the majority of africans are still reliant on traditional energy sources. This work will not only benefit Mulanje Mission Hospital by providing reliable, low cost, renewable energy, but will stimulate interest in solar energy from individuals, hospitals, schools and similar institutions in this part of Malawi by providing a demonstration of what can be achieved.

To find out more about the Mulanje Mission Hospital, visit their website.