Solar power for health centers
The Nouna health district requested our support in the supply of solar power and refrigerators for vaccines to the rural primary health centers. Solar panel-charged batteries would provide light for medical treatment at night and enable safe storage of vaccines sensitive to heat. Access to health services could thus be sustainably improved. Following a bidding process, we decided on a company which offers all components (solar panels, batteries, special refrigerators) as a comprehensive package and had implemented several projects in Mali and other African countries already.
Our funds were sufficient to equip eight health centers. The choice of which health centers would receive support was made by the Nouna health district. The equipment has been purchased and logistics have been arranged for. A Ouagadougou-based company will perform the installation of the equipment in the selected health centers, and provide training to health center staff and local maintenance personnel. Generally, all components were chosen to be as maintenance-free as possible. A multi-year manufacturer’s warranty for the solar panels was obtained.
Center for malnourished children (CREN)
The nutrition program for children and their mothers (CREN project) in Nouna is another project Friends of Nouna has initiated and continues to support. The program is run by an organization attached to the Nouna district hospital and provides several sleeping places for children and their mothers, as well as a small garden. Malnourished children can stay in the CREN for several days and are given high-caloric nutrition mainly consisting of peanuts. Mothers are able to stay with their children until these have gained sufficient weight to leave the CREN.
Ambulances for Nouna
We plan to supply five ambulances to different health centers in the Nouna health district. These ambulances will be three-wheel vehicles which are more flexible than regular four-wheel vehicles on the partly difficult to navigate roads. The ambulances will be used to transport patients from the rural health centers to Nouna hospital, and can also be used to pick up patients from home to bring them to the health centers. We will start with a pilot project shortly, installing one ambulance in one of the rural health centers.