“For more than 10 years I have been using a small, battery-operated flashlight to help women deliver their babies,” reveals Mary Jurkuch, a midwife working at the Panyagor primary healthcare centre in Twic East county, Jonglei.
Mary’s travails, however, are soon to be over as UNMISS has handed over a solar plant to the healthcare centre. “This is life-changing for the communities we serve here and also for us, as healthcare professionals,” says Dr. Chol Leek. “Lack of electricity hampered our services for the longest time; with this solar installation, we will be able to provide far more effective care to the people who need us the most.”
Most patients flocking to the primary care centre travel long distances to receive medical attention. However, many used to be disappointed with the standard of care, hampered as it was by a lack of power. Community leaders from Twic East, therefore, requested UNMISS to support communities by improving health facilities.
The mission, through its Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) programme, facilitated the installation of 20 solar-powered panels. Cost-effective and sustainable, these panels are expected to provide an uninterrupted power supply for both in- and out-patient departments, the laboratory, the blood bank, plus ensure that the maternity wards are operating 24/7.
“We will also be able to make sure that ultrasounds and laparoscopic procedures can take place as scheduled,” adds Dr. Leek. “Security at the centre’s premises will be much improved as well with constant power to the administrative block.”
“Providing a renewable and green energy solution to this clinic is something that was on top of our list in terms of viable, forward-looking QIPs projects,” states Brima Bernard, Team Leader of the UNMISS Relief, Reintegration and Protection Section in Jonglei. “We’re hopeful that communities in and around Panyagor will now receive the medical care they deserve.”
This USD 50,000 project was actioned by local implementing partner Impact for Actions and completed on 26 February 2021.