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Solar powered recharge stations

deploy solar powered charging stations in health centers to enable women to charge their phones in turn we can reach them with reminder sms.

Photo of Eric Mwenda
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Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one sentence (required 250 Characters)

Our intention is to deploy solar powered Vaccine fridges And create phone charging stations in health centers, mothers can charge their phones for free. Charging phones is a challenge in rural areas. In turn we will send them reminder sms.

Explain the idea (less than 2,000 characters)

One of the key perceptions with Vaccination programs is that vaccine storage is poor. The typical image is of a vaccine extension officer roaming about the village with a cooler box that does not have ice packs. Due to the rising use of social media networks word goes round that they are giving expired vaccines. Our aim is to deploy solar powered vaccine refrigerators in health centers and also solar powered vaccine carriers. The solar grid will also cater for 50 charging stations where mothers can charge their phones securely as they wait to be served. The intention is that mothers will still come back to utilize the service even on other days. In turn we will be able to get their phone numbers so as to send reminder sms and also send social and health messages which help to counter any negative messaging that they may receive. We inturn will also use the same mothers as sentinel reporters in the event of an outbreak of any immunizable disease by educating them on the the typical symptoms that may be encountered and the danger to their children.

Which part(s) of the world does this idea target?

  • Eastern Africa

Geographic Focus (less than 250 Characters)

Kenya Uganda Tanzania Rwanda

Who are your end users and how well do you know them? (750 characters)

Patients and clinicians. I know them very well having worked In this region for 25 years.

How is the idea unique? (750 Characters)

Most organizations have just deployed electric powered fridges which don’t work 50% of the time they also do not engage with the clinician nor the patient to ensure that best practice is carried out.

Idea Proposal Stage (Select 1)

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

How many months are required for the project idea? (140 characters)

We need approximately 36 months.

Organization Name (less than 140 characters)


Type of Submitter

  • We are a Private Sector Corporation

Organizational Characteristics

  • Indigenous-led organization

Organization Location (less than 140 Characters)

Nairobi Kenya

What is the current scale of your organization’s work?

  • Regional (reach within 1 geographic region)

Website URL

Tell us more about your organization/company (1-2 sentences)

We have scaled innovative ideas. We launched an accessible cardiac pacemaker from Biotronik and brought down the average cost of a pacemaker implant from an average of $20000 in 2012 to $1200 currently in Kenya Uganda and Tanzania. We also run community focused pharmacies in Nairobi and Meru town where we piloted the $10 prescription for any chronic ailment ie hypertension, diabetes, cardiac issues. Our goal is to ensure that no one is left behind in terms of access to care.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (750 characters)

MOH Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Faith based organizations and AMREF.

How many people are on your team?


Tell us more about you and your team

Anna Mueni: Director: long term experience in health care and life insurance in the bottom of the pyramid populations. Frida Nkatha: Community mobilizer and top sales person For CBO Peter Mutunga: community mobilizer. Anthony Kamau : Pharmacist meru Esther Kamau: Pharmacist Nairobi Lily Kaguri : nurse and long term FP and vaccination champion in MOH Kenya.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaac Jumba

Hi Eric Mwenda 

Great to have see your idea in refinement. Remember to update your submission with the additional information from refinement (your business model, and user experience map) as well as any other additional information.

Photo of Marichu Carstensen

Hi Eric, I would like to have an idea of the set up that you have in the recharge stations. Who will have access to this? Where will they be? Who will own the stations? Will it belong to the community? Who will fund the maintenance and care of the stations? How will it be sustainable?

Photo of Marichu Carstensen

Hi Eric, I like your idea of solar powered charging stations. Here in the Philippines, there are still some remote areas off the grid which can benefit from your idea. I am developing a vaccine carrier that may require charging stations. If it is possible to collaborate with you, I would love to add a solar power feature on the Vaxi trolley that is part of my vaccination delivery system.
Good luck and more power:))

Photo of Manisha Laroia

Hey Eric Mwenda 
Thank you for sharing your idea.
Since you are focussed on using solar energy I was hoping you could have a look at this idea and see if you could inspire each other.
Portable Solar Powered Vaccine Coolers 

Photo of Manisha Laroia

Hi Eric Mwenda 
Just a quick tip.
As per the Submission Guidelines mentioned here :
We will not consider funding for:
Solutions focused on SMS reminders.
So please make sure you present your idea by showing other KEY VALUE points like the charging stations, the fridge storage and the mother's community gatherings, as mentioned in your ideas.

Photo of Manisha Laroia

Thank you for sharing your idea. It sounds great as you have taken into account the context and mentioned some on ground challenges.
It would be interesting if you could look into Why the existing fridges don't work, is it because of electricity or are there other underlying reasons?
Also, it would really help if you could look in the journey of the fake messages and use the trail to know the points where you can intervene to solve the problem better.

Photo of Eric Mwenda

Thanks Manisha. Your feedback is very valuable. The Fridges mainly don’t work because their is no service back up contracts on implementation. Something that is often overlooked by suppliers who do not want to be intimately involved in this communities. Second problem is that manufacturers have the attitude that one size fits all so often you will find very sophisticated equipment deployed in very low resource setting. In this case all they need is a simple working fridge and also take into consideration that power outages are common by having them running off solar. On the messages often it is more of village gossip on twitter or Facebook especially when they see a sudden vaccine drive being carried out. There is an increasing perception that vaccines are a fertility control measure especially when ad hoc vaccine drives are conducted. Case in point are the frequent polio drives around Kenya where volunteers spend their day walking around villages with rudimentary cool boxes. Sometimes they place their lunch in the box which gives the perception that hygiene is not well taken care of but the converse is that sometimes they don’t even have cool packs in the boxes. Working solar fridges ensure cooling packs are always available and that the vaccines at the health center are kept at the right temperature. In turn the extra power coming off the grid can be used for a social project such as mobile phone Charge station for card carrying mothers.

Photo of Manisha Laroia

These are very useful insights! Thank you for sharing.
I think these will really help you add value to your idea so keep building on them.