Solar power for the new health center - Chbar Chros Village, Cambodia

Profile

 Location: Chbar Chros Village, Kambodscha
 Target group: Alle Bewohner des Dorfs und seiner Umgebung
 Partner: Stiftung Solarenergie, NGO Camkids
 Financing: TOOLS FOR LIFE Foundation
 Timing: 12.2015 - 05.2016
 Budget: ca. 12.000

Healthcare in the country of Cambodia is very difficult (see background). TOOLS FOR LIFE therefore supports the solar project by the Solarenergie foundation. The goal of this project is in cooperation with the local project partner, the NGO Camkids, to equip the health center in the first solar village in Chbar Chros in rural Cambodia.
The health center in Chbar Chros is primarily responsible for the surrounding villages, but people from further away come there to be treated. The next regional hospital is 25 km away. It is almost impossible for the population to afford the transportation. This is why the people rely on treatment at the center. A midwife and a nurse work at the center. They are responsible for primary healthcare:
- Diagnosis and treatment of easily treated illnesses (fever, worm treatment, diarrhea, typhoid)
- Issue of free easily storable standard medication (Paracetamol)
- Care after accidents
- Care of pregnancy and childbirth
A dental team, supported by Camkids, comes to the site once a month for three days. A physician comes by every two months to treat and care for more difficult cases and to supply special medications.

The situation at the health center is still very difficult due to the lack and reliability of electricity:
- The center is only open during daylight time.
- Care is only minimally possible when it gets dark.
- Due to missing headlamps it is difficult to do house calls at night.
- The staff doesn’t feel safe at a dark center, the risks of attacks or invasions is relatively high.
- It is difficult to store vaccines and medications adequately, since there is no way to keep them cool.

The Solar Energy Foundation wants to supply the health center in Chbar Chros with solar light and solar power. They want to improve the situation and reduce the problems especially for the people who suffer the most: the women and children.

The basic equipment consists of:
- Solar fridge to cool medications and vaccines
- Permanently installed solar light for the exam rooms and staff rooms
- Safety light outside
- Solar headlamp for strongly focused light
- Mobile solar lights for outdoor use / house calls
- Fetal Doppler for ultrasound screening during pregnancy
- Battery charger for mobile phones, Doppler, and headlamp
- Clinical thermometer
- Blood pressure monitor

Possible with solar energy:
- Emergency care around the clock
- Better prenatal screening and care
- Proper storage of medications and vaccines
- Increased security

The project is to allow them to help themselves, but at the same time we don’t want to let down the local people in case they need help and support. We put a great value on a sustainable implementation, otherwise we wouldn’t see long-term help.

Background

Cambodia is still part of a group of Least Developed Countries (LDC). Even though the country experienced economic progress and the poverty rate went down tremendously, 40% of the Cambodian people still live below the poverty rate since the official end of the civil war in Cambodia in 1998. Most of the people living in poverty live in rural areas in the country – the lack of infrastructure and the poor economic situation complicate the conditions there also. Developmental deficits in healthcare are one of the determinative factors for the status as an LCD. One physician is usually responsible for 10,000 to 20,000 patients and they mostly work in the cities. Midwives and nurses at health centers are usually responsible for the primary care of the population in rural areas. The lack of light and cooling is a big problem. Due to this the staff can hardly meet the demands of taking care of so many patients. On one hand there are time limits and on the other hand are medical undersupply. It is impossible to store medications, which would help treat simple conditions. The same goes for a sufficient supply of vaccinations. Children are the ones who suffer especially.