Wednesday, April 04, 2012

'Solar Suitcase': Saving Lives and More

If we had continued on the road with alternatives, like solar, that we started down some forty years back, but stopped by the same special interests continuing to try and do today, just think where we'd be and how different the world would be today. Like no wars of choice to control others fossil fuel sources! Oh and we'd be leading in solar etc. production as we once led in so many area's right up to about that same forty years ago when we started shipping our once innovative experienced workforce trades overseas.

This was televised on the PBS NewsHour tonight, 4 April 2012.

'Solar Suitcase' Sheds Light on Darkened Delivery Rooms
April 4, 2012 - What's as easy as lighting up a room -- say a hospital delivery room? You'd be surprised.

In much of Africa and other poor areas, electricity is scarce and unreliable. Hospitals and clinics in developing countries often use flashlights or kerosene lamps, which are inadequate or pollute the air. Doctors or midwives may not be able to see what they're doing if a woman goes into labor during nighttime hours, and it could be nearly impossible for health care workers to save the mother's or baby's life if there are any complications during the delivery. Darkness makes medical care a huge gamble -- a gamble that is often lost. It also forces many clinics or hospitals to close at night.

Estimates say 300,000 health clinics worldwide don't have reliable electricity and therefore don't have reliable lighting once darkness falls. It seems such a simple problem, but of course it is not.

Watch Solar Suitcase' Sheds Light on Darkened Delivery Rooms on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

A few years ago, Laura Stachel, an OB-GYN based in Berkeley, Calif., traveled to Northern Nigeria to study why so many women were dying in childbirth. She was shocked.

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"What I saw were some of the sickest patients I'd ever seen in my life -- probably more complications than I'd seen in my entire career," she said. "Yet the hospital did not have a reliable source of electricity. I watched (cesarean sections) where the lights would go out and the doctors literally finished with my own flashlight." read more>>>

Tonights Telecast
After witnessing the consequences of power outages in Nigeria's health facilities, obstetrician Dr. Laura Stachel came up with a solution: a suitcase containing elements to produce and store solar energy. Spencer Michels reports on the life-saving device that aims to reduce maternal mortality rates in the developing world. Transcript>>>

Watch 'Solar Suitcase' Sheds Light on Darkened Delivery Rooms on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

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