Real world issues need solid solutions.
There are many solar lighting designs and companies that provide safe, reliable lighting to those in need.
There are however, solar products that incorporate more than much needed light. One such design is an all-inclusive suitcase from We Care Solar.
Dr. Laura Stachel, an obstetrician and researcher, has been in the field for years, fighting for a basic right for women around the globe – safe childbirth.
Pakati – This word means pregnancy in a certain region in Malawi. Dr. Stachel, upon asking for the literal translation of this local term, was told by a hospital midwife that it meant between life and death.
Malawi’s Maternal Mortality Ratio in 2010 was 470 out of every 100,000 live childbirths (World Health Organization). Though in rural areas, this number is likely to be vastly underreported according to Dr. Stachel. She stated that it is approximately 1 out of 36 Malawi women who will face life threatening difficulties during labor.
And Malawi is just one example of how women bring their children into the world under some harsh circumstances. Dr. Stachel reminds that in developed countries childbirth is a celebratory event, though in others it is nothing short of a fight for survival.
A lack of prenatal care is widespread in underdeveloped areas, but also an absence of light is a frightening issue that can make deliveries after dark an emergency nightmare. As pointed out by her visits, places like this one in Malawi have to rely on dim lighting from candles, cell phones with unreliable batteries, or possibly only a flashlight may be available. Others may have to use kerosene powered lamps which emit toxic fumes and are unsafe for anyone, especially newborn infants and mothers in critical care.
Many other times there may be no lighting at all, making it impossible to perform surgical procedures. Sometimes the mother may have to endure terrible pain in complete darkness, waiting until morning light to receive necessary care.
These circumstances are what motivated her conception of the Solar Suitcase. With help on the design end from her spouse, they examined the best ways to stock the case and how to actually employ the widespread use of them. The project soon became a grant funded, award winning non profit endeavor.
This well made, sturdy and extremely long lasting case includes enough solar powered lighting to illuminate a once totally dark room. In addition to lighting it also has built in charger portals for batteries and cell phones, outlets and a much needed fetal Doppler system. Though the kit is designed for obstetric use, it is also of great assistance for other medical needs.
Watch her video that discusses the initializing of the We Care Solar Suitcase, first employed in Nigeria where women may be 70 times more likely to die during childbirth than compared to U.S. women.
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