Having a baby is an exciting time for parents-to-be. For nine months you juggle prenatal appointments, decorate a nursery and scour the internet for baby names.
Then the day comes for your new addition to arrive. Your excitement quickly turns into stress. You hope the delivery will go well, and that your little one will be healthy. You put your full trust in your doctor or midwife and the health professionals supporting them.
Now imagine the power suddenly goes out.
For many moms-to-be in rural Mozambique, that’s exactly what they face. Their closest health clinic does not have electricity. And as every parent knows, babies don’t always choose to be born during the daylight. Faced with the choice of venturing out into the dark, many Mozambican women will deliver their babies at home, without a trained birth attendant. Or they will take their chances and hope for a complication-free delivery in the dark.
In 2016, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund partnered with California-based We Care Solar to bring solar power to 30 rural health clinics. Representatives from both organizations travelled to Mozambique to train volunteers and staff of EHALE, a local health organization. Together they installed solar panels on the roofs of the clinics and connected them to a hard plastic, yellow case mounted on a wall inside. These are known as solar suitcases. They include a charging port for a cellphone, a rechargeable light and head lamp, and even a fetal Doppler to listen to a baby’s heartbeat. For five years, the solar suitcases have brought light to the clinics, and brought life to moms and babies.
Now in 2021, PWRDF is partnering again with EHALE and We Care Solar to install 50 more solar suitcases in more parts of Mozambique.
Domingas Joaquim says a solar suitcase saved her baby’s life. When her sixth baby was born, he needed to be resuscitated, and then Domingas had a postpartum hemorrhage. With light and equipment powered by the solar suitcase, the nurses were able to provide the urgent care to save both of their lives.
This Mother’s Day, you can honour the birth of a child—yours or another important little one in your life—with a gift to moms in Mozambique. You can help us save more lives by bringing light to every birth in rural Mozambique.