Lighting the Darkness in Partnership with WE CARE Solar and Rural Communities!

Can you imagine personally delivering–or birthing–a baby in total darkness? What if your wife, mother, sister, or friend needed to undergo an emergency cesarean section to save her life or the life of her unborn child’s? These thoughts are terrifying, and Safe Mother, Safe Babies believes that nobody should ever face such conditions as a reality. That is why SAFE partnered with WE CARE Solar to bring Solar Suitcases to Ugandan health facilities’ maternity wards and operating theaters. Our first set of installations took place in December, but right now, WE CARE Solar is in Uganda doing more installations as we speak! Check out the pictures and captions below for some insight into their experiences with SAFE! 
Above: Operating Theater Nurse Rebecca with the December-installed Solar Suitcase in the Iganga District Hospital Operating Theater. She is holding the mobile light that the OR team uses during cesarean sections (so they can get just the right positioning) when the power goes out! WE CARE Solar Technical Director and Engineer, Hal Aronson, is in the background.

Above: WE CARE Solar Executive Director, Laura Stachel, and Technical Director, Hal Aronson, at the Lubira Health Center Solar Suitcase Celebration! The community groups with which SAFE works put on a HUGE celebration to promote the Solar Suticase and celebrate the help they received from WE CARE Solar and SAFE. It featured songs, dramas, dancing, and a health fair, and was the biggest celebration we’ve had yet (hundreds of people came)!

Above: During the celebration, Laura Stachel (clinically trained OB/GYN) went into the health center to help deliver a health baby boy under the newly installed Solar Suitcase lights. The mother was so appreciative of all the help she received that she named her son “Hal” after Hal Aronson, WE CARE Solar’s Technical Director who installed the Solar Suitcase!

This is further proof of the great work that can happen when two dynamic and dedicated nonprofits work TOGETHER to bring sustainable change to rural maternal and child health. We have loved working with WE CARE Solar, and are excited for all the work we will continue to accomplish together, lighting up the darkness, in full and equal partnership with rural Ugandan women, their families, and health facilities.

Light the Night Featured by Women Deliver

We are so excited to share that Women Deliver featured “Light the Night”–our joint project with WE CARE Solar lighting up rural health centers and hospitals all over Uganda (including partnerships with AMREF Uganda and the White Ribbon Alliance Uganda)–on their Facebook Page and blog! SAFE is honored to be counted among the many other incredible solutions that Women Deliver features on a regular basis. Woohoo! Check it out here: http://www.womendeliver.org/updates/entry/celebrate-solutions-solar-energy-for-safer-births/

Life-Saving Light

For all those who have been following our Solar Suitcase installation story, here are two videos that show its immediate impact. The first shows SAFE Founder and President, Jacqueline Cutts, working with the spokeswoman for AMREF’s Stand Up for African Mothers campaign, midwife Esther Madudu, to resuscitate a premature newborn under the lights of a Solar Suitcase installed only 5 minutes before the baby’s birth. The second video shows an interview with Esther talking about how the existence of reliable lighting helped her provide quality care to both the premature newborn and her mother!

Life-Saving Light: Neonatal Resuscitation
 
Interview with Esther Madudu
 

Heading to Uganda

From December 18th to December 31st, SAFE Founder Jacqueline Cutts and SAFE Technical Director Richard Cutts (also Jacquie’s husband) will be in Uganda to implement the Light the Night project. The objectives for the trip include:

  • Receiving the 20 WE CARE Solar Suitcases and 6 Humless solar units.
  • Installing 2 Solar Suitcases in the Jinja National Referral Hospital, and training the project partners in the installation of the units at the same time.
  • Training SAFE’s in-country staff in the installation, use, and repair of the WE CARE Solar Suitcases, so that the remaining Solar Suitcases can be installed post Cutts’-departure.
  • Installing 2 Humless Solar units at the Iganga District Hospital, 3 Humless Solar units at Ibulanku Health Center, and installing 1 Humless solar unit at Bukoteka Health Center. 
  • Hosting 1 community health fair to provide immunizations to 600 women and children while simultaneously improving awareness of the solar unit installations and the eRanger program.
  • Providing medical supplies to Bukoteka Health Center, who hasn’t been given any by their funding agency for almost a year.
  • Exploring ways to provide a source of income for the Bukoteka doctor and nurse, who haven’t been paid for a year either (exploring gift of a dairy heifer, milk-producing goat, or organic farming equipment, the byproducts of which could provide them with food or money).
  • Meeting with SAFE’s partnered women’s and men’s groups.
  • Checking in on all of SAFE’s projects.

Jacquie and Richard are excited to be undertaking these projects! If you would like to help, please send your donation to:

Safe Mothers, Safe Babies
Box 2205
Provo, UT 84603-2205
Feel free to designate your donation to a specific project if there is one that really excites you; SAFE will send you a receipt within 10 business days.
Thank you for your support–and check back for updates!

Partner WE CARE Solar wins the Nokia Health Award at the Tech Awards 2011!

A hearty round of applause and shout out to our partner WE CARE Solar for winning the Nokia Health Award at the Tech Museum’s Tech Awards last night! Check out the link below to watch a clip about the Solar Suitcase and to see Dr. Laura Stachel and Hal Aronson win the award!

Latest Videos « CBS San Francisco

SAFE Co-awarded Solar Grant!

It is our great pleasure to share that Safe Mothers, Safe Babies has been co-awarded a large grant with parter WE CARE Solar from the Segal Family Foundation for Light the Night. This will provide funding for SAFE to install a total of 20 WE CARE Solar Suitcases in Ugandan health facilities, and allow us to do participatory, demand-generating outreach in the catchment areas of several of those institutions. So excited, and full of gratitude for great partners and supporters!

SAFE Founder, Jacquie Cutts, and husband/SAFE Technology Director, Richard Cutts, will be flying to Uganda in December to implement the project. Check back for updates soon!

Congrats to Partner WE CARE Solar!

SAFE has been working with an organization called WE CARE Solar on a project to install WE CARE Solar Suitcases in several rural health centers in Iganga and neighboring Namutumba District, and the Jinja National Referral Hospital Maternity Ward and Operating Theater. We are thrilled to give them a shout out for being named a laureate in The Tech Awards!! For more information, check out: http://thetechawards.thetech.org/media_room/international-laureates-be-honored-tech-awards

Woot woot WE CARE Solar!!

Announcing Light the Night with Humless, Inc.

We are pleased to announce our partnership with Humless, Inc. on “Light the Night”–a project that will bring solar electricity to two rural health centers and the Iganga District Hospital Maternity Ward and Operating Theater. Humless, Inc. is a Utah-based solar company that developed highly efficient, lithium solar units. Bringing these units to Uganda will allow medical providers the light they need to provide adequate care; it will also help to increase the demand for services by strengthening public perception of the health centers. Finally, it will reduce deadly delays in cesarean sections (currently, they are sometimes done by flashlight or kerosene lantern). After a matching $5,000 grant from an anonymous donor, Humless is helping SAFE to fundraise the remaining money for the project. Please see video below to learn more about what we’re doing!