Little Sun works in many areas of the world where proper health care is not a given. According to the World Health Organization, there is one doctor for every 20,000 patients in Tanzania. The recommended ratio is one to 300. In most parts of the country there is no doctor, no nurse, no clinic and the nearest hospital may be hundreds of kilometers away. At the same time, power supply for those health centers and their staff has always been a big concern – even more so now, with the world facing a global pandemic. This is why we are launching four new impact programs. With our local partners, we aim at delivering solar energy and other basic supplies to those fighting the crisis, making sure they are well equipped and do not run out of power.
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Face Masks, Made in Africa
Facemasks have become an everyday, life-saving necessity throughout the world but remain exceedingly scarce in Africa. To support critical public health safety measures, Little Sun is working with women’s cooperatives in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Senegal to make high quality re-usable masks available to front-line community health workers and the people they serve with the added benefit of creating income for the women who make the masks. $2.50 will provide one face mask.
Solar Phone Chargers for Frontline Health Workers
Little Sun is equipping community health workers with solar-powered phone chargers so they can use their phones to care for patients in areas without electricity. Community health workers rely on their phones to communicate with health facilities, connect with doctors, track patient data, and for many other uses. Little Sun is working with an ecosystem of local partners including national ministries of health, international e-health organizations, and local grassroots organizations in countries across Africa to bring these devices where they are most needed. Our target is to deliver 3,000 solar phone chargers within the next six months. $45 will produce and deliver one charger, enabling a community health worker to take care of up to 1000 patients.
Powering Health Facilities in Ethiopia
Health facilities across Africa lack electricity, one of the most basic resources needed to provide service and care to patients. Without electricity, lifesaving equipment cannot function, vaccines and medicine cannot be kept cold, procedures take place with light from candles or kerosene lamps. Little Sun is working with the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia and our local partner Solar Development to equip health facilities in remote off-grid areas with solar energy. Our target is to equip 10 health facilities with solar power in Ethiopia. The energy requirements of facilities vary considerably, but a small to mid-sized health installation can be equipped with a solar system for between $20,000 and $180,000.
Enhancing Food Security through Solar-Powered Egg Incubation
The World Food Program estimates that as a result of Covid-19, the number of people living with acute hunger in Africa could double by the end of the year to 265 million. Hunger in food insecure countries like Burkina Faso and Ethiopia could become dramatically worse as a result of Covid-19. Chicken eggs and meat are a ready source of protein and solar-powered egg incubators have been proven to increase chicken yields dramatically for farmers. Little Sun and our local partners will equip women farmers in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso with solar egg incubators and train them in poultry raising, as a way to improve local availability of high-protein foods and to boost farmer income. Our plan is to support 100 farmers between the two countries. The cost of supporting 5 farmers is $25,000.