In May 2020, the Mwandi hospital was designated as the COVID-19 Center for its district in Zambia. The added costs of care for each COVID-19 patient is projected to be 80% over the hospital's current costs for non-COVID patients. These increased costs cannot be absorbed by the hospital’s operating budget for a number of reasons, including the fact that the national electric company, ZESCO, raised the costs of its power by 100% earlier this year.
In the last two years, Phase 1 of our solar project reduced the hospital's use of ZESCO power in its main building by 16,716.28 kWH (a 70% decrease compared to usage before Phase 1). However, the cost savings accomplished by the reduction in this one building will be minimized by the 100% increase in charges for the ZESCO power utilized by the hospital's other buildings. In addition, monthly operating grants given by the Zambian government to hospitals around the country, including Mwandi, are increasingly unreliable. Moving forward with Phase 2 of our solar project is becoming more and more urgent!!
We are in the process of completing a comprehensive master plan for the entire hospital compound. In addition to expanding hospital wards and other facilities to serve the growing number of patients, the plan includes provision of solar power for all new and existing areas within the facility. We hope to move forward quickly with Phase 2 of the solar project as soon as the master plan is approved.
As always, we appreciate your support of our solar project. We hope that you will continue to help us increase the hospital's solar capabilities so that the healthcare needs in this community will be met.
May 18, 2020
May 2020 report on Clean Water Improves Patient Care
By Verna Case - Project Leader
With gratitude to all of our donors, the American Partners are pleased to announce that we have successfully raised sufficient funds to complete the Mwandi hospital water project! So first and foremost we want to send to HUGE THANKS to the 108 GlobalGiving donors who have made reaching our goal possible. Because we have met our fund-raising goal, we are deactivating the "Clean Water Improves Patient Care" project on the GlobalGiving site. All of the necessary equipment and supplies for completing the project have been purchased. Unfortunately, the final installation has been delayed due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Zambia and the installation team's current unavailability. When the team can travel to Mwandi, they will finish the support structure for the water tanks, raise the tanks to the platforms, assemble the water purification system, and link water lines from the tanks to the reticulation system that supplies water to the hospital. The American Partners will make sure that we inform you when the work on the project is finalized. We know that you will be delighted to hear that your donations have provided the Mwandi hospital and its patients with a reliable supply of clean water.
The American Partners are now focusing all of our efforts on the “Solar Project Saves Lives” project (GlobalGiving #58930). The COVID-19 virus has recently reached the rural village of Mwandi and the Mwandi hospital has been designated as the site that will provide care for all COVID patients in the district (about 30,000 people). Even before the influx of COVID patients, the Mwandi hospital had difficulty in meeting normal operating expenses, because of the rising costs of electricity and other services. Now more than ever, a reliable source of power is necessary for saving the lives of patients, those with COVID-19 and those suffering from other health challenges. Please consider making a donation to the Mwandi hospital’s solar project in order to combat the COVID virus in the Mwandi district and to insure that the health and well-being of all patients will be protected.
Previously, we reported that the power generated by Mwandi hospital’s pilot solar project was supplying 56% of the electicity used in the main hospital building. This building is the only area within the hospital facility currently connected to the solar system. Three months later, we can report that a daily average of 68% of the main hospital building’s electricity comes from solar power (either directly from the solar panels or from the solar batteries). We are delighted with this news and feel that the expansion of solar power to all areas of the hospital is justified.
Additionally, investment in solar power for the hospital is now a critical need because of increases in the costs of the electricity produced by the Zambia Electricity Supply Company (ZESCO). In December as a result of drought conditions in Zambia, ZESCO increased tariffs on the power it produces by an average of 100% across the country. The increase in ZESCO tariffs were reflected in the hospital’s January 2020 ZESCO bill, which increased by 80% compared to the December bill. As a result of the very large increase in ZESCO tariffs, the cost-savings that the hospital gains from the pilot solar project is significantly diminished.
For all of the reasons outline above, it is imperative for the American Partners to accelerate Phase II of the solar project. We hope that all of our wonderful donors will continue to help us expand the solar capabilities of the Mwandi hospital. With your help we can decrease our dependence on ZESCO by generating more of our own dependable and cost-effective electricity. Meeting this goal will insure that the Mwandi hospital's patients will have access to reliable, quality healthcare delivery.
We appreciate all you have done for the Mwandi hospital and hope that you will join with us as we strive to meet the current challenges facing the hospital.