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Health News Mon, 3 May 2010

Upper East Health Directorate takes delivery of Solar Lanterns and Torch Lights

Bolgatanga, May 3, GNA - One hundred and twenty health

facilities in the Upper East Region have been earmarked to receive

free solar lanterns and torch lights, Dr Koku Awoonor-Williams,

Regional Director of Health Services, announced at the weekend. Speaking at the offices of the Regional Health Directorate in

Bolgatanga, Dr Awoonor-Williams explained that his outfit had

earlier on bought 50 solar lanterns from its own resources for some

selected health facilities in the Region and that based on the impact

they had made, the Directorate decided to purchase an additional

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100 solar lanterns and 100 solar torch-lights at a cost of 16,500

Ghana cedis to ensure that all health facilities in the Region

benefited. He stated the SINGH Africa, and Afrikids Partner project, with

support from Northlite, a local Renewable and Sustainable Solar

Service Provider based in Bolgatanga, with funding from the

Australian High Commission, also complemented the Regional

Health Directorate's efforts by donating an additional 100 solar

lanterns estimated at 15,000 Ghana Cedis to the Directorate. He thanked the partner NGOs for the support said the items

would be of tremendous help since most of the health facilities were

sited in rural communities which had no access to the national

power grid. Dr Awoonor-Williams indicated that almost all the Community

Health based Compounds Systems (CHPS) were cited in rural areas

and manned by young community health workers, and that basic

lighting facilities were critical for their security. He indicated that the Ghana Health Service in collaboration with

the Ministry of Energy took advantage of the natural solar resource

in the Region and recently equipped 25 sub-district health facilities

in the Region with solar energy equipment. He added that this had improved the cold change management

system in terms of the availability of potent vaccines against

preventable diseases and said it had also attracted staff to work at

those centres since they now had access to lights, radio, television

and video amenities. "There is also scientific evidence of lives that have been saved

through surgery with solar torch lights in the absence of electricity

from the national grid", he said. Dr Awoonor-Williams pointed out that the Region's vision was

to achieve zero maternal mortality in the health facilities, and said the

building of CHPS Compounds, clinics, health centres and the

provision of capacity building programmes for nurses, as well as the

reintroduction of the post basic midwifery training programme for

community health nurses by the MOH and GHS were all geared at

providing integrated primary health care and referral services in

communities on a 24 hour basis. 03 May 10

Source: GNA