We Care Solar 

WE CARE SOLAR promotes safe motherhood and reduces maternal mortality in developing regions by providing health workers with reliable lighting, mobile communication, and blood bank refrigeration using solar electricity.

Maternal mortality worldwide accounts for 300,000 deaths a year; 99 percent of these occur in developing countries. For every maternal death, at least 20 women suffer severe complications from childbirth. Major causes of maternal death include obstetric hemorrhage (massive bleeding from childbirth), obstructive labor (labor where the mother is unable to deliver the baby), eclampsia (life threatening seizures related to high blood pressure), and sepsis (widespread infection). These emergencies cannot always be predicted, nor are they always preventable. However, with prompt, appropriate and reliable medical care, they are unlikely to result in loss of life.

Sporadic electricity impairs the operation of surgical wards, delivery wards, essential hospital equipment, and hospital communications. This compromises the ability of health workers to provide safe, appropriate and timely medical care. The Solar Suitcase is a compact solar electric system that fits in a suitcase. The “WE CARE Solar Suitcase” powers overhead LED lighting, charges cell phones, and includes LED headlamps that come with their own rechargeable batteries.

Dr. Laura Stachel, We Care Solar CEO and co-founder, was one of CNN Heroes 2013. Read the full story or watch the video.