Mukujju is a sub-county jurisdiction in the Tororo district in eastern Uganda adjacent to the Kenyan border. This year, the IEEE Uganda Section SIGHT group conducting a project titled Installation of Solar (PV) Technology at Mukujju Health center IV aimed at improving the health service delivery for the benefit of the community members within Mukujju sub-county.
The project includes setting up and installing a solar energy system (PV) to provide dependable and sustainable energy to facilitate the provision of healthcare services at the health center. The team knows that reliable energy means sufficient lighting to reduce the risk of maternal and infant deaths during childbirth. It also means a variety of other necessary equipment will be able to function efficiently. And both healthcare workers and patients will be able to charge their phones to communicate during any emergency.
Notably the project targets reducing deaths and injuries among the males, females, mothers and children within that community. So far, the project is being executed through different sessions with the help of mainly IEEE volunteers and some community members.
At this juncture, the IEEE Uganda SIGHT team has conducted an interview survey/ internal assessment with the management of Mukujju Health Center IV on how the project is progressing. The management responses are accorded as:
- Responses from the medical officer/ in-charge of the center
- Responses from the lead nursing sister at the center
Management views/position about the IEEE SIGHT project
- Appreciated the project as ‘’a very good project. We appreciate IEEE for selecting Mukujju Health Center IV as a key stakeholder.’’
- ‘’Through this project, IEEE SIGHT has come to Mukujju Health Center IV as savior by coming up with a good energy solution that has delivered the health workers and the community from the burden of darkness.”
Sections of the health center that have so far benefited from the project
- “Benefiting sections of the center from the project are the Female, Male, and Children wards. Available lighting has tremendously improved the security section to take care of inpatients and other stakeholders at the center.”
How different stake-holders have benefited from the project
- “Nurses are now able to work at night and they are more motivated.”
- “Management has doubled its efforts in its work at the center due to constant supply of energy. Before the project, the electricity supply was unstable. Health workers felt insecure because they could not work at night without a stable source of light.”
- “Like-wise the patients would leave the center early because of fearing to stay in the dark but now we are able to work throughout the night while having a bigger patient population. This means that the health center provides more services to reduce prevalence of illness and disease within Mukujju community.”
Number of patients served before and after the project
According to the medical officer in charge, the number of patients now being served in the general ward is 25 persons per day. Before the project, that number was far lower and negligible.
Future hopes in the project at the center
- Overall, the management team saw the project as a point relief and a motivating force for the health center staff to remain in constant contact with IEEE Uganda Section and SIGHT team members to see how best they can take the fruits of this project forward.
Article submitted by Uganda SIGHT Chair Lwanga Herbert.