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Thursday, February 29, 2024
HomeNewsSolar System Improves Quality Of Service In Rural Health Centres

Solar System Improves Quality Of Service In Rural Health Centres

The government and its partners have initiated a solar for health project that has seen over 1000 health institutions across the country receiving solar equipment to enable them to provide a non-stop cold chain and power supply.

Addressing journalists during a tour of Mahusekwa District Hospital in Marondera, District Medical Officer Dr. Delight Madoro said the S4H-powered solar plant had enable continuity to the Expanded Programme on Immunization program.

“This solar system has also seen us not being affected in terms of our fridges in the EPI department where we store our vaccines in the refrigerators. Also, we have extended the solar system to other departments in the hospital including administration, our out-patients, in-patients, and all the wards including the maternity wards and our theatre. During those power cuts, this solar system can actually last us for longer than 24 hours if our batteries are fully charged,” said Dr Madoro.

He added that electricity can also be used to charge the batteries.

Dr Madoro said ever since the solar system was placed at the institution, it has served as reliable power backup and has gone a long way in alleviating the prolonged power cuts, especially during the rainy season.

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District Nursing Officer, Sister Marian Fadzi said the solar power had enabled critical health processes to function without power interruptions.

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“We have multiple power cuts especially in the rainy seasons so when we have such a solar system, it means we are not affected. This helps in keeping all our vaccines in fridges stored under the required temperatures and ensures we keep them safe for our populations.

“We are now exceeding our monthly vaccination target of 22 children per month as they were now vaccinating in the range of 35 to 40 for conditions such as Measles-Rubella where vaccination levels are above 100%. For a country like Zimbabwe, where the power supply is currently unstable, safe storage of vaccines and uninterrupted refrigeration of vaccines can be a challenge in the absence of reliable backup power. A single power blackout can result in the loss of millions of doses of vaccines plunging millions of lives at risk of not getting inoculated against diseases.

Mahusekwa District Hospital is among the 1,044 health facilities in Zimbabwe that have had solar systems installed under the Solar for Health (S4H) initiative.

The solar for health initiative is being implemented by the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) through support from UNDP Zimbabwe with funding from Global Fund (Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria) grants. The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works (MoLGPWs), provides technical assistance for the roll-out of solar installations.

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