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Solar Suitcases Light Up Maternal Health Care Solution by: We Care Solar

The Solar Suitcase is a compact solar electric system for medical lighting, mobile communication, and essential medical devices designed to be simple, safe, and durable. The Triple Bottom Line

ENVIRONMENTAL When replacing a diesel generator, each Solar Suitcase averts eight tons of CO2 per year, according to We Care Solar.

SOCIAL Saving the life of a mother is crucial for the well-being of her infant. 2

The Solar Suitcase enables safe and timely obstetric care, which ultimately improves maternal and neonatal outcomes. We Care Solar supports its technology with educational programs that build local capacity, giving health workers the tools necessary to provide life-saving care. The Solar Suitcase can be used in a range of medical and humanitarian settings, and has been introduced to more than 600 health care facilities in 20 countries, currently lighting up skilled care for over 247,000 childbearing mothers each year, and allowing emergency surgeries to be conducted around-the-clock in rural hospitals. Why a Sustainia100 solution?

ECONOMIC According to the solution, a Solar Suitcase provides significant cost savings for a health care facility by offsetting the costs of purchasing lantern batteries, kerosene lanterns, and generator fuel.

Preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth claim 800 lives daily, with developing countries accounting for 99% of this total. 1 Care facilities that lack reliable power to support safe deliveries contribute greatly to the problem. Without electricity, doctors are often forced to cancel sessions or conduct surgery by flashlight, and midwives struggle to deliver babies by light from kerosene lanterns or candles. The Solar Suitcase addresses these very urgent needs.

Developed: USA

Deployed:  20 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America 

“WE CARE SOLAR PROVIDES  ESSENTIAL LIGHT AND POWER  FOR MATERNAL HEALTH CARE, ALLOWING CHILDBIRTH TO BE A JOYFUL EVENT.”

The Solar Suitcase is an economical, easy-to-use solar power unit that provides maternal health workers with highly efficient medical lighting and power for mobile communication, computers, and medical devices.

Dr. Laura Stachel, MD, MPH, Co-Founder and Executive Director, We Care Solar Photo: Bradly Wong 1

WHO “Maternal Mortality”. Fact Sheet. May 2014. Online, 2 University of California, San Francisco, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. “Safe Motherhood”. 2013.


Sustainia Award 10 Finalists 2014