HOPES OF REFRIGERATION AT AN OFF-GRID HEALTH DISPENSARY IN KENYA

FAR-LeaF’s Dr Tabitha Amollo fabricated and recently installed a solar-powered refrigerator at Madding Health Dispensary in the interior off-grid part of the Kacheliba sub-county of West Pokot, Kenya.

The inhabitants of West Pokot County, a semi-arid region, are primarily pastoralists. The refrigeration system, comprising a battery, solar panel, and inverter, would be handy in preserving vaccines and medicine. The system was designed to ensure efficient cooling even without sunlight for several hours. Nonetheless, the region has sunlight in abundance.

Previously, the staff relied on the mother facility as medicines requiring refrigeration could not be stocked in the Madding Health Dispensary. This meant that the community members could not get vaccination services timeously or had to walk far to get these services. The facility staff were delighted and thankful to Carnegie Corporation of New York, which funded the fabrication of the system.

An initial part of Dr Amollo’s project entailed developing nanomaterials for solar energy conversion. She presented an article on the structural and optical properties of the prepared nanomaterials at the International Conference on Nanotechnology and Materials Science, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in August this year, where she won the best oral presentation award.

Heidi Sonnekus | FAR-LeaF Program

This meant that the community members could not get vaccination services timeously or had to walk far to get these services.



Dr Tabitha Amollo, with the refrigeration system she fabricated and installed recently.

 

The Future Africa Research Leader Fellowship (FAR-LeaF) is a fellowship programme, focussed on developing transdisciplinary research and leadership skills, to address the complex, inter-linked challenges of health, well-being, and environmental risks in Africa.