A lot of us probably don’t know how far solar power can go in helping the environment and our community, but there are several quite remarkable ways that it can be utilized to improve life everywhere. A solar suitcase is a perfect example of how solar power can save lives.

Unfortunately, there are still countries where women still die during childbirth because they lack the most important resources like lighting. Some hospitals only have electricity for 12 hours throughout the day, making it difficult to power the blood bank refrigerator for transfusions or any emergency care. In situations where cesarean sections need to be performed, flashlights are utilized to provide lighting or they end up being cancelled because they are unable to perform the surgery.

After witnessing the conditions of these hospitals, Laura Stachel developed the Solar Suitcase that can provide enough light from start to finish of the procedure. The suitcase is compact, transportable, and strong enough to power the delivery room, maternity ward, and the blood bank refrigerator. It includes walkie-talkies to allow nurses to locate doctors as quick as possible.The suitcase also includes waterproof lights, headlamps with rechargeable batteries and a fetal monitor. Almost 1,300 health facilities in 27 countries have had deliveries of these solar suitcases. Most of these deliveries have been in Africa. A year after the solar suitcases were introduced, 70 percent of maternal deaths dropped in Nigeria alone.

It’s in situations as these that we realize just how powerful solar power is and the importance of light. Without light we are hindered.

Read the whole story at www.dw.com.