With close to 2,000 patient contacts every month, the Uluthe Dispensary (health clinic) has its fair share of challenges. Addressing community needs in antiretroviral therapy, family planning, HIV counseling and testing, and immunization--among other things--the clinic is often ill-equipped and underfunded to handle many of the duties required by community members. To make matters even worse, the Uluthe Dispensary operates without any electricity, which limits the lab equipment they can use and decreases the operational hours of the health facility.
The project will include working with the Uluthe Dispensary, local electricians, and handymen to installed a solar panel on the roof of the clinic. The clinic will also be wired with electrical outlets, security lights, and a *cell phone charging station that will be used to generate revenue which will offset operation costs incurred by the clinic. The Invictus team will ensure that community members have ownership over the project through labor, materials, and time invested.*Most Kenyans own a cell phone regardless of economic circumstances. Our research found that community members often charge the batteries of their cell phones around twelve times a month at $0.25 USD per charge at designated business kiosk areas in town. That’s $36.00 USD a month per person spent on charging their cell phone! The Invictus Initiative team proposed the idea of turning the clinic into a charging area with the newly installed solar panel to the clinic staff and advisors. The idea was quickly supported and approved.
Two weeks after the Invictus team left Kenya, there was a theft attempt on the solar panel on the roof of the clinic, but because the local installers advised having a metal casing welded around the panel, the theft was prevented. However, the theft attempt did damage the wiring of the panel to the system, but because the local village electrician had installed the panel, they quickly made the repairs on their own and the power was back on shortly thereafter.The installation of this solar charging station improved the overall service of the health clinic. The use of electronic medical equipment, increased security of the site, and longer operating hours were just a few of the benefits the community members received as a result.