Japan invests high power solar system for Salima District Hospital

Salima District Hospital has been equipped with a high powered solar system plant donated by the People’s Republic of Japan to ease power challenges that have been crippling delivery of health services.

The official commissioning was made through World Food Programme (WFP) and present was Deputy Minister of Health, Halima Daud, who described the investment as a huge milestone for the hospital, saying the availability of adequate power is key to delivery of quality health services.

Ambassador Oya and Daud shake hands as symbolic handover

“Any functional health facility requires power for the cold chain management, especially at expanded programme for immunization facilities and all the technologies in use at the health facilities of which diagnostic medical and ICT equipment are key,” Daud said.

The solar system has high power generation of  7×3 PH and thus Daud appealed to all partners to continue supporting the Ministry to build capacity in power generation through alternative means that supplement Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) power.

On his part, the Ambassador of Japan to Malawi, Yoichi Oya said the donation is part of his country’s commitment to providing cold-chain equipment and improving logistics system for vaccines.

“Salima District, being an area affected by cholera, needed our support in terms of addressing power challenges,” he said. “The solar system and SDD refrigerators will go a long way in addressing some of the challenges.”

Daud and Zoya interact with a WFP official

He then commended WFP for its role and continued support in emergency health response, saying with their expertise, they facilitated the donation process.

And in his remarks, WFP deputy country director, Simon Denhere said the investment was a compliment to his organisation’s efforts in supporting Sub-Saharan Africa with cold storage chain to strengthen safe storage of vaccines and essential drugs in health emergencies.

He added that government efforts of delivering quality health services are being challenged by power outages and inadequate accessibility to power supply in health facilities, therefore, the donation would address some of the challenges by ensuring that adequate power is available in health facilities.

Chief environmental health officer for Salima District Health Office, Reuben Chakhadza said due to power challenges, the hospital was losing drugs as most of them were getting spoiled in the absence of cooling facilities.

He said the solar system donated will be used in the laboratory, pharmacy and high dependency unit (HDU), saying: “This is a timely donation, indeed power challenges have been letting us down in delivering quality health services.

“With this donation, we are optimistic that we will work to the expectations of the public,” he said.

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