New solar electricity system at Malawi hospital now operational

Last Updated on: 3rd April 2024, 08:16 pm

EMMS International, a leading healthcare charity in Scotland, has announced the publication of its first journal article detailing the process of solarising a hospital. The article, published in Tropical Doctor, outlines the successful implementation of a new electricity supply system at Mulanje Mission Hospital in Malawi.

The hospital has been facing frequent electricity outages due to insufficient supply, natural disasters, and poor infrastructure in the country. These outages have significantly impacted the safety of patients and staff. In response, EMMS International has partnered with Mulanje Mission Hospital to install a new electricity system, integrating the use of grid electricity, solar-generated electricity, and battery back-up.

Thanks to the generous support of EMMS International, Mulanje Mission Hospital has been able to renovate and re-install its solar power and electrical system since 2021. With a donation of €104,997, the hospital now has a 3-phase grid-coupled solar electricity system, which can be managed through a mobile app by the maintenance supervisor. This feature is particularly useful during bad weather or grid outages, as it allows the batteries to be fully charged throughout the night.

The results of the project have been impressive, with the hospital’s electricity bills reduced by 60.6% and the need for diesel for the generator becoming rare. Additionally, the water supply has improved as power for borehole pumping is now consistently available. The reliable electricity has also created a stable working environment for staff, allowing them to focus on providing quality patient care.

The partnership between EMMS International and Mulanje Mission Hospital dates back to the late 1800s. In recent years, EMMS International has donated over £1.3 million to the hospital, supporting various projects such as reducing the spread of tuberculosis, providing clean water, offering palliative care in rural areas, and reducing teenage pregnancies in the community.

Dr Arie Glas, the Medical Director of Mulanje Mission Hospital, expressed hope that the publication of the article will inspire more hospitals to adopt a reliable solar power supply, stating, “Many more hospitals can go green, end black-outs, and save running costs!”.

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