Nkhoma Hospital

Solar Project

What We Aim To Do…

The aim of the project is to raise £100,000 to provide solar powered electricity to Nkhoma Hospital, in central Malawi that will double the amount of essential operations and lifesaving activities that are carried out.

Where We Are Doing This..

Nkhoma Hospital is nestled under Nkhoma Mountain in rural Malawi. It was built over 100 years ago and receives funding from the Malawian Government who pay approximately 40 % of the running costs to cover salaries and medication for specific diseases (e.g. tuberculosis and childhood immunisations). Further income is generated from patient fees (there is a private ward where the charges are higher), but the hospital still has a major shortfall in income.

 

The hospital does not turn people away when they have no money. This shortfall in running costs comes from outside help, with donations from organisations around the world for specific programs e.g. the tuberculosis (TB) program, hospital transport, malnutrition and other donations, including those from Positive Steps Health Care Assistance Fund for Malawi to support gaps in healthcare and training.

Why It Is Needed..

Nkhoma Hospital is struggling to continue with the vital service it renders to the 32,000-member community it serves as it is frequently without power for long periods of time.

The Hospital would like to become independent from the current ESCOM electricity provider as it is costly and unreliable. They are currently allocated five-hour slots of electricity supply as part of power sharing throughout the country, but the reality is they are often without power for up to eighteen hours at a time, sometimes more than twenty-four hours if there is maintenance work or faults on the line.

Whilst there is an emergency generator at Nkhoma Hospital, which can be used as a backup, this is very expensive to run – taking funding away from the essential services the hospital is striving to provide and can often cut out with a high risk to life. The hospital is often left in darkness, with the staff under increased pressure to help the community and save lives.

The hospital does not turn people away when they have no money. This shortfall in running costs comes from outside help, with donations from organisations around the world for specific programs e.g. the tuberculosis (TB) program, hospital transport, malnutrition and other donations, including those from Positive Steps Health Care Assistance Fund for Malawi to support gaps in healthcare and training.

The Result of No Electricity is..

  • Premature Babies can only rely on kangaroo care, the body warmth of their mothers (and hospital staff) because the heaters in the premature baby room do not work
  • There is no vital supplemental oxygen for patients with breathing problems or patients who need surgery as the oxygen concentrators need power
  • Medication that should be kept cool, gets too warm in the African heat to be viable
  • Operations are cancelled
  • Surgical equipment cannot be cleaned
  • The laboratory cannot cross match blood so vital blood transfusions are delayed
  • Babies are delivered by torch light
  • Wounds are sutured by torch light

Who Is Involved..

The Nkhoma Hospital Solar Project is a joint venture between Employ My Ability (EMA) and Positive Steps (PS).

Positive Steps is a small UK based charity run entirely by volunteers. It works to assist in providing medical and health care assistance to people in Nkhoma and the surrounding area in Malawi directly through financial support for medical care and travel and indirectly through support with training and provision of resources where needed. To date over £45,000 has been raised. 100% of this money is used to provide medical healthcare and assistance to the people of Nkhoma. (Positive Steps registered charity 1159715).

Employ My Ability is an educational enterprise for students with Special Educational Needs, based at The Walled Garden, Moreton and Thorngrove Garden Centre Gillingham. Their environments host onsite catering and horticulture facilities that help students SEN to gather vital skills, expertise and confidence. EMA offers strong vocational qualifications alongside real life work-experience which enables their students to leave with a clear pathway into employment. Students regularly interact with customers and develop essential social and communication skills and will be helping to support with events and fundraising with the Nkhoma Hospital Solar Project. Employ My Ability have been supporting Positive Steps since 2015, hosting and supporting successful fundraising events.

Both organisations are supported by Emm-Power Marketing, also based in Dorset.  Emm-Power will be providing social media, marketing and event planning guidance and support throughout the Nkhoma Hospital Solar Project.

How We Will Do This..

The solar project has now been launched by Employ My Ability with Positive Steps, with the aim of raising £100,000 to provide solar powered electricity to the hospital.

We aim to raise the £100,000 through charitable donations and fundraising.

Our ‘Big Sun Dance Launch Party’ is the first fundraising event for the Nkhoma Hospital Solar Project.  As well as additional fundraising events we will also:

  • Create fundraising initiatives with Employ My Ability students
  • Create online digital fundraising campaigns
  • Create an online donation page to coincide with the digital campaigns
  • Create PR and Blog content to raise awareness
  • Make connections with likeminded businesses and organisations, who will themselves, raise money or donate towards the project.

The Nkhoma Hospital Solar Project will be delivered by Imperial Logistics company, Resolve. Resolve have an impressive portfolio of work implementing solar projects across South Africa, as well as delivering innovative Storage-in-a-Box solutions which consists of prefabricated 70M² modular storage units.

Please Get Involved

This is a really important initiative and will make a real difference to the way that Nkhoma Hospital is able to operate and, most importantly, it will save lives!

We can’t do this alone and are currently looking for charitable donations, gift donations to be used during auctions and help spreading the awareness of our project.