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Electricity is saving lives

The local clinic in Isaah Krom provides better care for its patients because of an off-grid solar system

Isaah Krom is one of Ghana’s remote areas. The village is located in Sekyere Afram Plains District some three hours drive from Kumasi. The area is among the poorest in Ghana and lacks access to electricity.

The local health clinic in Isaah Krom, ‘Auntie Riek Clinic’, had been struggling with lack of electricity for years when they contacted Black Star Energy. Black Star Energy is a developer, owner, and operator of solar-powered off-grids. The company is part of Ghana Climate Innovation Centre’s (GCIC) programme that supports ventures or entrepreneurs that offers solutions to climate change adaptation in Ghana. GCIC is funded by a grant from the Governments of Denmark and the Netherlands through the World Bank

In 2017, Black Star Energy sat up an off-grid solar system garden that provides the clinic and the next door staff quarter with 9kwh a day. Access to electricity has meant a big improvement for the patients:

“Before, we could not really take care of our patients at night. We had to use a torchlight so it was very difficult. This has changed now,” Rose Amankwah, one of the clinic’s nurses, tells.

An average of 5 to 10 patients visit the clinic in a day.

Nurses Rose Amankwah (l.) and Hanna Sarpong (r.) works at Auntie Riek Clinic in Isaah Krom.

The equipment to help

The off-grid has made it possible for the clinic to use advanced lab equipment and a vaccine fridge. Earlier, staff had to bike to the district capital, Kumawu, to pick up the medicine and store it in a cooling box:

“We have been in situations where we ran out of medicine that a patient needed so we had to send them to Kumawu Polyclinic even though it was an urgent matter,” nurse Hanna Sarpong explains.

The clinic has also bought a sterilizer machine so they can sterilize their equipment in Isaah Krom instead of bringing it to the Kumawu every morning.

Electricity is saving lives

The staff at Isaah Krom attends around 15 pregnant women in a month. In November 2018, a pregnant woman in labour was brought to the clinic. The ultra-scanner that the clinic had bought after they gained access to electricity, made it possible to scan the woman. The scan showed that the baby was dead so they knew they had to refer the women to Kumawu Polyclinic.

“Because we detected that the baby was dead, we were able to save the mother’s life and send her to Kumawu where they had could remove the uterus. This is all because of the scanner,” Hanna Sarpong explains.

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