SOLAR IMPROVES MEDICAL CARE FOR THE POOREST IN SIERRA LEONE
Edited from an article published on Canadian Solar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Shawn Qu’s linkedin , 26th November, 2019 In early 2019, Canadian Solar supported the installation of a new solar power system at the Evans Medical Center in Lungi, Sierra Leone. The humanitarian project was initiated together with Lungi Sierra Leone Charity and was realized with donated Canadian Solar MaxPower CS6U-P 330W solar modules. The solar power system provides the clinic with a sustainable energy source that enables a constant power supply for essential medical equipment and emergency lighting. Only a few people have access to electricity in Sierra Leone - about 23% of the total population and only around 2.5% of the rural population. In terms of available healthcare and health status Sierra Leone is rated very poorly. With 1,360 mothers dying per 100,000 live births, Sierra Leone has the worst maternal mortality ratio in the world. A reliable power supply is a fundamental prerequisite for adequate medical care. The solar system directly improves the quality of medical care in the region. A new blood bank, which is the first in the Lungi area, provides patients with vital blood supply, where they previously had to rely on a suitable donor and wait for screening. The solar power system also powers the vaccine refrigerators, fetal monitor and labor ward ultrasound, along with other critical equipment. A constant power supply is required as any power outage would destroy vital bloods and vaccines. Before the solar power system was installed, the Medical Center had to rely on an ageing generator, which would incur prohibitive costs if it operated for 24 hours a day. Now the generator is only used for backup. Four other industry partners donated additional equipment, including storage and control systems. SegenSolar (Pty) Ltd. supplied the inverter, charge controller and electrical components. The Schletter Group contributed the mounting system, while Bonus Solar provided batteries, cables and isolators. The installation and commissioning was carried out by Electric Future, who specializes in design and delivery of solar installations. They provided the expertise and manpower along with Canadian Solar to deliver a safe and reliable solution. “The realization of the solar power system for the clinic in Lungi shows how our industry can sustainably improve the situation for newborn babies, children, and the local population in a developing country. To support the poorest of the poor makes me very proud and is one more way that we at Canadian Solar Make the Difference.” said Dr. Shawn Qu, the founder and Chairman of Canadian Solar.