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Showing posts from January, 2014

Sunshine in a suitcase: light for health and more

Laura Stachel, at right, demonstrates the WE CARE Solar Suitcase for a healthcare colleague. A “Solar Suitcase” developed by an obstetrician in California is providing a source of light for healthcare clinics that face chronic power shortages in developing countries, notes an article in the latest issue of SPIE Professional magazine . In 2008, California-based obstetrician Laura Stachel traveled to Nigeria for doctoral studies. At the time, Nigeria had one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. As she was observing an emergency Caesarean section at a state hospital, the lights suddenly went out. Stachel was surprised by the nonchalant attitude of the staff for whom this was a common occurrence. The procedure was completed by the light of Stachel’s flashlight. Stachel learned that power outages are common in African hospitals, and many clinics are without any electricity altogether. Midwives in Nigeria have long resorted to using kerosene lanterns, candles,