Solar Power saves mother during childbirth in SHP

​In Kutube, Southern Highlands Province, at the remote Inu sub-health centre in Kutubu, Southern Highlands, a Soro mother safely delivered a newborn child thanks to a newly installed solar lighting system.

The centre is run by the Evangelical Church of PNG and has been providing health services to the people of the area for many years.

But recently it required some urgent repairs. Repairs were made by the Oil Search Foundation to restore adequate water supply to the centre and provide lighting to maternity rooms to facilitate clean, safe and secure deliveries.

A new solar system now powers the lighting at Inu health centre so that staff can conduct emergency procedures and supervise mothers in labour at night. Less than a week after the Oil Search Foundation had installed the standalone solar powered system, the Soro mother was in labour and admitted after dark at Inu health centre. After delivery of a healthy baby the mother developed a severe haemorrhage.

 Inu’s Nurse-in-charge, Rodney Alu, said without adequate lighting the midwife would not have been able to successfully detect and resolve the problem and reduce bleeding to prevent further complications and even death. “Such procedures are normally done at bigger hospitals, however we were successful because there was reliable lighting in the room that night giving the mother a real chance,” he said.

The solar power system that the Oil Search Foundation installed does more than only provide lighting. The solar system is a 1,000 watt unit capable of also powering radio, vaccine fridge, water pump and mobile phones.

It can store and provide power for up to six days during poor weather. The Oil Search Foundation Provincial Development Manager for Kutubu, Steve Groves, described the solution as a durable system designed to provide low voltage power with the capacity to power all essentials in the health facility.

“Inu is the first facility in which we have installed this new solar power system. More will be rolled out through the year as we ramp up our health facility improvement schedule in partnership with provincial and local health service providers,” he said.

Press Statement