Project #8975

Solar Suitcases to Save Lives in Childbirth

by WE CARE Solar


WE CARE Solar will deliver 30 of our portable, easy-to-use solar suitcases to midwives and doctors in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Haiti, providing medical lighting and power to maternal health facilities lacking reliable electricity. With our high efficiency lights and power for communication, midwives can conduct safer deliveries and call for emergency assistance, doctors will be able to perform c/sections at night, and 15,000 mothers a year will be able to obtain emergency care 24 hours a day.
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More than 350,000 mothers die from pregnancy complications each year. In regions without reliable electricity, health facilities can't always provide life-saving care to childbearing mothers and newborns. Midwives struggle by candlelight to conduct deliveries. Physicians cancel c/sections or attempt to complete surgeries by flashlight. Critically ill mothers are turned away from health facilities when emergency care cannot be provided. Infants fail to get resuscitation when there is no light.


Our easy-to use, portable, rugged solar suitcases bring immediate light and power to health facilities. They enable clinicians to conduct deliveries safely and perform life-saving procedures throughout the night. In our pilot hospital installation, we provided lights to the operating room, labor room, and a blood bank refrigerator. The hospital maternal mortality rate was reduced by over 50% in the year following our solar installation, and patients were no longer turned away.

Long-Term Impact

Improving maternal health care during labor and delivery improves the lives of women and their families. When we bring solar electricity to health facilities, more women seek skilled care and health workers can perform their jobs more safely and effectively. Saving a mother has a profound impact on a family: her baby is more likely to survive infancy, her children are less likely to be malnourished and drop out of school, she and her family can remain a productive members of the community.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


WE CARE Solar Facebook Page
San Francisco Chronicle - Sunday October 16th 2011
Voice of America Article and Podcast
Video of Dr. Laura Stachel at Pop!Tech

Organization Information


Location: Berkeley, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Laura Stachel
Berkeley, CA United States

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This project is no longer accepting donations.

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