Ignite Health addresses the problems resulting from unreliable electricity in maternity centers in Africa. Without reliable electricity and phones, night time lighting cannot be assured, midwives cannot locate doctors, and essential medical equipment lies dormant. Midwives conduct deliveries and repair lacerations by the dim glow of a candle or kerosene lantern. Nurses wait hours for messengers to try and locate physicians to provide emergency procedures. Doctors have inadequate lighting for surgical procedures, and sometimes do their job by candlelight. And the patients they care for are the ones to suffer. Women labor in darkness, waiting for skilled care that may never come. Critically ill women face tragic delays in care, or are asked to find another facility that may or may not have better services. All too often, they receive suboptimal care. All too often, the life of a baby or a mother is lost.
Ignite Health provides a simple solution to one aspect of maternity care that is all too often overlooked – lack of reliable electricity. The Ignite Health Kits combines off-the-shelf solar electric technology (solar+inverter+battery) with a few plug-and-play enhancements to create a user friendly technology that is robust, easy-to-understand, and easy-to-maintain. The system allows health care workers to have surgical quality light, power for mobile communication, power blood bank refrigerator and power for medical devices. The system can be easily augmented to power computers and fans.
The system is designed to be easy to replicate. Our goal is to eventually train a cadre of solar technicians to first repair and eventually make these systems in their own country. We think that by training people to make these we are empowering them to use the kits for health care, education, and entrepreneurial activities. By increasing the livelihood of community members, we help take people out of poverty, and improve the health of the whole community.