Concord Times (Freetown)

14 February 2013

Sierra Leone: UNFPA Donates 42 Solar Suitcases to Free Health Care

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Tuesday at the Central Medical Stores, New England Ville, in western Freetown donated 42 solar suitcases light in support of the free health care scheme.

Minister of Health and Sanitation, Ms. Miatta Kargbo, said the solar lights would be used in maternity hospitals across the country. "These solar lights will provide power to hospital theatres in case of electricity failure," she said adding that the facilities would be used for their intended purpose.

UNFPA's country representative, Madam Ratizda Ndlovu, said the solar lights are meant to be particularly utilized in hospitals in the provincial areas and that they'll be distributed to Kono District and other parts of the country.

She noted that most women die in the rural villages while giving birth due to electricity failure, hence the solar lightswould be a major boost tothese hospitals.

"Solar lights are important not only to supply electricity when needed, but can also be used to charge cell phones of medical practitioners in the provinces," Madam Ndlovu maintained.

Director of Reproductive and Child Health Program in the Ministry of Health, Samuel A.S. Kargbo, said the donation came as result of the fact that health care service delivery is faced with serious electricity challenge but through the efforts of the Friends of Maternity, they launched an appeal to the UNFPA for support, hence the donation of the solar lights.

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