Most rural health centers are unable to provide full medical treatment to patients as they are lacking a supply of medical equipment, electricity, clean water, and more necessities. In underserved communities, many people can’t afford a visit to a hospital, so they are left with no choice but to use these substandard health centers, and it doesn’t help that since COVID-19 patients within health centers have only increased. Itara Health center, in Rubaya sub-county, is the only health center in the underserved community, and they have no electricity or clean source of water, which is why there must be a change.
A team formed from the IEEE Uganda section, amongst other volunteers, is working to better the health care system at Itara Health Center through the installation of solar panels and a water treatment system. The solar panels will finally provide the center with electricity which will allow for lighting, technology equipment, televisions, and more. This will be extremely beneficial to the center’s current candle-lit lighting system, which has been a disruption in many instances. By installing a water treatment system, the center no longer has to worry about using contaminated water, which poses a serious health hazard.
These proposed systems are eco-friendly as they will utilize the sun’s energy for its main power source, which will be regulated by a charge controller to save the battery for needed times, such as nightfall or during poor weather conditions. This project will drastically improve every area within the community, from the center’s security to the improvement in health standards.
During this project, the team will be working alongside Changing Lives Uganda and Davis & Shirtliff to ensure all needs for the health center are met and to gain some more insight on this issue. Students from Rwansinga High School will also be helping the team and will learn basic engineering skills, as well as learn hands-on skills such as installation work.
EPICS in IEEE has granted the project Installation of Solar System at Itara Health Center $5,955.00 to better this underserved community and ensure a healthy and safe health care center.