Energy for health at Monkey point

February 23, 2011

A day of mixed feelings – excitement at heading off to the “edge of the world” to meet the community at Monkey Point; a little bit of fear when I saw the size of the boat we had to travel on to get to Monkey Point (small) and the size of the waves outside the bay (large!); and finally being a little overcome by emotion when Carla, the nurse at Monkey Point told me that Renewable World had made her dreams come true.

Carla comes from Monkey Point but had to fight to get her posting as a nurse to her own community – because there were no facilities there. Carla’s colleagues and friends in Bluefields all said “why would you want to go there? They don ‘t have anything, no lights – not even a desk!”

When she was finally given Ministry of Health (MINSA)  approval for her posting, she had to clean up the clinic herself,  borrow a desk and some curtains for privacy (there are no doors between rooms), fix windows and much more  – lots of people in the community helped her to fix it up because they were so pleased to get a clinic and nurse at last – in the past it would have meant the 3 hour trip to Bluefields on the boat – and if the seas were too rough or they coulnd’t afford the diesel, a 10 hour walk and then an hour on a boat.. 

Today, the installation of her new solar powered freezer, lighting for the clinic and power for her new nebulizer was completed, and the freezer installation was given the seal of approval by the Ministry of Health (MINSA) to stock vaccines. From next week Carla will be able to stock vaccines, snakebite antivenom and HIV tests.  Now she can do the tests, Carla is also approved to give (free) HIV treatment.   

When I asked her how she felt about the new freezer, Carla said “I am happy, happy happy! When they told me about it in December I didn’t think it would happen but when the fridge arrived it was like a dream come true.  Thank you so much!”

The money for this project came from the fabulous running4renewables team – and Daniel, the volunteer who set it all up was clearly as chuffed as I was to see the results of the team’s fundraising efforts. More from my interview with Carla in tomorrow’s blog – I’m exhausted!

Carla and the new solar fridge freezer which will store vaccines
and other vital health supplies