Schneider Electric works to improve maternal healthcare in Kisii with solar microgrid
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 guarantees power for the facility, 24 hours a day regardless of local power outages.
The solar microgrid and power back-up systems provide an alternative energy source for the facility’s maternity area, its vaccine refrigerators, and lighting using lead-acid batteries as a storage device. The batteries are charged during the day by the power generated from the solar panels, supplying the hospital with electricity at night.
“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 Samantha Childress, a member of United Solar Initiative’s Board of Directors.
“United Solar Initiative is proud to have built a team of strong partners that are helping to realize our mission of empowering communities and improving lives through solar energy.”
This project was supported by the global non-profit solar developer United Solar Initiative and Curamericas Global, who is a long-term nonprofit healthcare partner of the Kisii County health department.
Andrew Herrera, Executive Director, Curamericas Global added: “Prior to this installation, there were many mothers giving birth in the dark due to the unreliability of the main power from the Grid. Since the installation of the System in August 2020, we’ve had a surge in deliveries with the facility recording over 20 deliveries per month, an increase of 400% recorded in prior months. Expecting mothers are reassured that we can take care of them at any time, either day or night and our staff are able to do their jobs with a focus on quality and excellence.”
On her part, Carol Koech, Country President, Schneider Electric Kenya pointed out the importance of a reliable source of power to medical services saying: “Safe, reliable electricity is paramount to medical services, especially for childbirth, and infant and maternal mortality rates drop significantly when women have access to guaranteed, uninterrupted healthcare services.”
Other microgrid projects are planned for healthcare facilities in Kisii, ensuring that the region’s women will now have access to these essential services.