Globally, 300,000 women and more than one million newborns die from pregnancy complications each year. Deaths could be prevented with access to timely emergency obstetric care. With 59% of health facilities in low-and-middle-income countries lacking reliable electricity, midwives struggle using candlelight or kerosene, hospitals cannot perform critical procedures, and patients are turned away.
Responding to the critical need for light, electricity, and safe childbirth in frontline health facilities, We Care Solar launched Light Every Birth, an international initiative featuring award-winning Solar Suitcases, capacity-building programs, and multi-stakeholder partnerships.
Solar Suitcases are compact, rugged, institutional-grade solar electric systems designed for maternal healthcare. These easy to install and maintain solutions include power generation and storage, bright medical lights, medical appliances, and installation hardware. Customized 70,000-hour LED lights, rechargeable headlamps, fetal heart-rate monitors, and no-touch thermometers are included. Maintenance-free lithium ferrous phosphate batteries are easily replaced after five years.
We Care Solar launched Light Every Birth to address energy poverty at the systems level. The organization works with governments, UN agencies, and NGOs to identify energy-poor public health centers, equip them with sustainable technology, lead technical training on solar installation, operation and servicing, and create an ecosystem of support. Our programs foster local ownership and ensure long-term sustainability.
2,500,000 beneficiaries served yearly.
More than 7,000 Solar Suitcases have been installed since Light Every Birth’s inception.
There are currently about 5,000 health facilities in the world with functional Solar Suitcases, each providing intrapartum care for 250 deliveries a year, thus serving an average of 250 mothers and 250 newborns per year (500 beneficiaries).
From inception, Light Every Birth has served approximately 10,000,000 total beneficiaries.
The Light Every Birth program is focused on Sub-Saharan Africa and serves rural families in need of frontline health services, expectant mothers and their newborns, and healthcare workers in remote health centers. It is estimated that there are 100,000 health facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa lacking reliable light and electricity.
Light Every Birth partners with governments, UN Agencies, and local and international NGOs in both the health and energy sectors.
Health partners assist with selecting suitable health facilities, building government relationships, monitoring and evaluation, and advocacy. Current health partners include AVSI, Babies and Mothers Alive Foundation, CARE, CHAI, Doctors with Africa CUAMM, GOAL, Healthy Child Uganda, IntraHealth International, IRC, Save the Children, UN Women, and UNFPA.
Technical partners ensure high quality installations, train users on how to operate the system, and work with government partners to maintain the equipment. Current technical partners include All in Trade Ltd., Ekide Investments Ltd., Eletech Investments, Engineering World, Ignite Solar, Little Sun Foundation, Smart Energy, Women in Renewable Energy, and ZimEnergy Eco Foundation.
Governments, through their respective ministries, ensure a clear understanding of implementation through signing joint partnership agreements with We Care Solar, identifying and prioritizing recipient health facilities, easing logistical challenges, and providing long-term support to ensure successful and sustainable programs. Current government partners include the Ministry of Energy Sierra Leone, Ministry of Health and Sanitation Sierra Leone, Ministry of Health Uganda, Ministry of Health and Child Care Zimbabwe, and Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Liberia.
Light Every Birth seeks:
Expertise on building an advisory board with new members that promotes leadership for women and reflects the diversity of Light Every Birth’s priority countries. In addition to global health and sustainable energy experts, Light Every Birth is also seeking experts in STEM education and humanitarian aid.
Organization Type: Nonprofit
Headquarters: Kampala, Uganda
Working In: Uganda
Current Employees: 21
Solution Website: www.wecaresolar.orgSolution Team: