Ensuring healthcare with solar power

The challenge

In Boukombé, with its more than 90 villages and a good 80,000 people, there is only one doctor, who lives in the central community. The health centre has no electricity. Due to these poor facilities, people from the more distant villages – and that is about two-thirds of the population – hardly ever come to the health centre and thus have no access to basic medical care, such as vaccinations, prenatal and obstetric care, or acute care. Sensitive medicines are worthless after only a short time in the warm climate of northern Benin. The result of the difficult conditions is high mortality rates. Women in particular suffer from the poor healthcare.

The goal

The CERD organisation is currently building its own hospital in Boukombé. The aim of this project is to equip this hospital with a photovoltaic system and, at the same time, connect it to the national power grid. In this way, high electricity bills for the hospital are to be avoided, and yet the possibility is to be created for purchasing additional electricity from the grid, if required. Patients are to receive comprehensive and, at the same time, cost-effective medical treatment. With this equipment, it is hoped that the hospital will be able to offer its medical staff an attractive workplace and improve the quality of healthcare in Boukombé in the long-term.

Our partners

CERD Benin – Culture, Education, Recherche pour le Développment au Bénin – is a non-governmental organisation which has been active in the Boukombé region for about 20 years. It is involved in local education and awareness work and has already installed solar systems in six schools. CERD is well-networked in the region. CERD is supported by its German partner, the Bürgerkomitee Steinhagen e.V. association. The organisation finances parts of the hospital and was also involved in the conception of this project for its electrification.

The approach

The construction of the hospital is currently in its final stages. To this end, CERD is working closely with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, including the Association of Unemployed Young Graduates in Healthcare. 

For the electrification of the hospital, CERD would like to expand its team with two technical experts, who will co-ordinate the installation of the system. A selected solar company will install the system consisting of photovoltaic solar panels, storage batteries and the grid connection. The solar energy will be used to power lamps, a water-pump, a steriliser, an ultrasound machine, oxygen concentrators, mucus vacuums, refrigerators and computers.

Finally, to ensure sustainable use of the system, all the hospital staff will be trained in its use. 

Area
Boukombé
Focus
Electrification of social infrastructure
Target group
Health care facility and patients
Period
01.06.2022 – 31.05.2023