Imagine tending to 680 live births a year, operating a neonatal intensive care unit, serving 40,000 patients annually and doing it all with two hours of electricity a day. That is what the team at Nyumanzi Health Clinic in Uganda were doing until this summer.
Located in a remote area of the West Nile region, this Medical Teams International clinic sits far from the national power grid and provides crucial service to both the local population and a large influx of refugees fleeing conflict. After visiting the center earlier this year our Uganda Program Coordinator, Benaville Nagudi shared “On arrival at the health facility, the striking thing is the long queues of mothers, children and youth, waiting to get maternity services, immunization for children and vaccination services. I had the immediate impression that the clinic is a lifeline for the host communities and the refugee population.”
Benaville’s impression is backed up by data. Our first collaboration with Medical Teams International was an energy needs analysis, using our DREAM tool to assess the energy needs at 56 of their clinics across Uganda. Using this data & analysis, Medical Teams prioritized energizing the Nyumanzi clinic because of the large population it services, its robust maternity care and the relative impact that 24 hour electricity could provide.
“I had the immediate impression that the clinic is a lifeline for the host communities and the refugee population.”Benaville Nagudi, Uganda Program Coordinator, Green Empowerment
A Renewable Solution
Today we are thrilled to share that our first solar installation in Uganda is complete. Together with Medical Teams International and Mandulis Energy, we installed a 7.7Kwh solar system with 19Kwh battery storage and a remote monitoring system at the Nyumanzi clinic. This system displaces costly diesel generators that the clinic previously used to get just two hours of electricity a day. Now with 24- hour access to electricity, the clinic anticipates improved services across the board, from routine and specialized immunizations, to thermal protection for preterm babies, to communication and outpatient recording and the list goes on. As one example, Christopher Nylonga, Program Manager with Medical Teams International shared “The clinic can now power medical equipment like ultrasound machines, which were originally kept away and not used due to the power deficiency”.
“The clinic can now power medical equipment like ultrasound machines, which were originally kept away and not used due to the power deficiency.”Christopher Nylonga, Program Manager, Medical Teams International
Partnership at the Heart
As with all Green Empowerment projects, partnership is key to success at Nyumanzi. After collaborating on the installation, Nagudi shared “After a 2 year COVID-19 lock down in Uganda, it was great to be part of the ground work in executing this electrification project…I really appreciated and saw Medical Team’s deep connection, and understanding of the communities they serve.”
As we develop our programs in Uganda we are also excited to be supporting Uganda’s local economy through working with partners in the private sector. Mandulis energy, who executed the solar install, is a locally registered and recognized renewable energy expert leading deployment of on-grid and off-grid renewable energy infrastructure. Green Empowerment and Mandulis are both part of the Power Partnership Initiative which plays a pivotal role in accelerating the deployment of clean energy across community service sectors (education, healthcare, community development).
This is just the beginning. We are already actively working to energize two additional Medical Teams clinics and as Nagudi shares, “we see more opportunities to replicate the same success across other regions, with more partners in Uganda and across Africa.”
“We see more opportunities to replicate the same success across other regions, with more partners in Uganda and across Africa.”Benaville Nagudi, Uganda Program Coordinator, Green Empowerment