SAVING BABIES' LIVES IN SIERRA LEONE

Providing a stable power supply to treat vulnerable babies at Bo Government Hospital, Sierra Leone

 

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Provide critically ill babies at Bo Government Hospital, Sierra Leone, with a fighting chance at life.

 

BABIES ARE DYING DUE TO LACK OF ELECTRICITY

 

"Three of our oxygen-dependent babies died last night when the power went off. Not good enough in 2017. Low-cost tech eg affordable solar power must b a priority for saving newborn lives"

Niall Conroy @NICU_doc_salone, 20 Nov 2017

 
An average of 17 babies die each month at Bo Government Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Sierra Leone. That’s approximately 25% of all babies admitted. Many of these deaths are caused by the lack of one basic provision – a reliable power supply.

It is these babies Project Bo has been established to support. Through the provision of solar and battery technology, a secure power supply will safeguard the most vulnerable of babies who are reliant on life-saving equipment.
 
 
 

PLEASE HELP GIVE THE GIFT OF ELECTRICITY - AND LIFE

 

The weakest babies are often too small or too sick to breath unaided or maintain their core temperature. Small and premature babies require uninterrupted access to oxygen and baby warmers for their survival. Just a short time without either can, and does, kill.

 
The electricity supply in Sierra Leone reaches less than 13% of the population. Frequent power blackouts and a sparse and sporadic coverage greatly hinders the healthcare system from providing basic care.

Vital equipment such as oxygen concentrators and incubators are susceptible to power outages.  At any moment a routine day can unravel at pace for babies and doctors, often ending in tragedy.
 
 

HOW YOUR SUPPORT WILL HELP

 

"Hoping to buy industrial batteries so we no longer have to choose between powering our baby warmer and our oxygen concentrator, as we currently do"

Niall Conroy @NICU_doc_salone, 13 Nov 2017

 

Project Bo will purchase, install and maintain a 20kW solar and battery system to provide an uninterrupted 24/7 power supply to the oxygen concentrators and baby warmers at Bo Government Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. With the support of donors, we can bring an end to babies needlessly dying simply because oxygen or heat were not available.

 

FUNDRAINSING TARGET £100,000

We need to raise £100,000. It will be used as follows, based on the detailed costings received from the engineering contractor we are working with in Sierra Leone, Energy for Opportunity :

Solar panels - £17,000

Some of the equipment in the ward is energy-intensive, particularly the oxygen concentrators and baby warmers. We calculated that we need 60 solar panels, generating a maximum of 315 Watts each, to supply the ward and charge the batteries.  

Batteries - £28,000

The battery bank has to be big enough to run the ward over-night, even during the rainy season when the sun is at its weakest. We are sticking with a very well-proven technology, lead gel. We calculate that we need 48 batteries of 1308 A-hr each.

Sundry electrical equipment - £14,000

There’s a lot more to the system than just solar panels and batteries. We need to provide all the switches and wiring, plus invertors to deliver alternating current to the equipment. We will also be providing a spare parts kit and a back-up diesel generator.

Water tank and plumbing - £2,000

At present the nurses have to fetch water from the hospital’s main supply, and it sits in a bucket by the door to the ward. We want the nurses focused on the babies, and so we included a new water tank and a plumbed-in tap as part of the project.  

Labour and transportation - £8,000

All of the equipment has to be brought from Freetown, five hours drive away, and then it needs to be installed.  

Customs, maintenance and contingency - £31,000

Most of the equipment will be imported especially for the project, so we will need to meet the costs of clearing customs.  We will also set aside funds for training and maintenance. Once the project is completed, unspent funds will either go to help close other dire gaps in neonatal or maternity services in the region, or towards the cost of replacement batteries (they have around a seven-year life).

 
 
  • WORLD PREMATURITY DAY
    WORLD PREMATURITY DAY "Our most unwell premie baby today is being cared for on the same mattress as 2 other babies"
  • LACK OF RELIABLE ELECTRICITY
    LACK OF RELIABLE ELECTRICITY "Three of our oxygen-dependent babies died last night when the power went off" Dr Conroy, 20/11/17
  • 2 ADULT BEDS BETWEEN 14 BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS
    2 ADULT BEDS BETWEEN 14 BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS "They can rarely find a place to get some rest and walk around constantly exhausted" Dr Conroy 14/11
  • ELECTRICITY STILL A PROBLEM
    ELECTRICITY STILL A PROBLEM "Another busy day. 2 babies to a bed. We're just grateful there's electricity for now"
 
 

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