6 September 2021

COVID-19: continue to support health care facilities, now more than ever

Since March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has spread around the world. The virus is a devastating threat to many of the poorest countries. Like many players, Electriciens sans frontières has had to adapt and organize its activities to cope with health risks and travel restrictions. Our watchwords: resilience, agility and confidence!

Our volunteers are more mobilized than ever to meet the needs of our partners on the field

The virus, which affects the health capacities of developing countries, also pushes them into a social, environmental and economic crisis. Often very vulnerable, their health care systems are not prepared to face a massive influx of patients: this is why Electriciens sans frontières’ volunteers have designed an intervention program specifically targeting health care centers, clinics and hospitals, which are on the front line of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Since its creation, Electriciens sans frontières has intervened in more than 200 health care structures. It is therefore with these contacts that a huge work of identification of needs has been carried out. The lock-down that began in March 2020 brought to light and revealed a revitalized solidarity wave: all our volunteer teams, from our 14 regional delegations, mobilized to listen to the needs expressed by our local partners, to mobilize our long-standing partner companies, and to initiate remotely and build up rapidly a vast action plan. Our teams could rely on their good knowledge of the field to contact companies whose reliability had already been proven, in particular equipment suppliers, installers, and design offices in charge of the reception of installations.

Based on this feedback from the field, we were able to organize ourselves and propose adapted and personalized responses to each of the health care structures.

Despite the distance, the launch of a vast Plan Covid-19 Plan towards African health care centers

On the basis of this census of the needs expressed by the health care structures, Electriciens sans frontières has defined a vast intervention program consisting of customized responses to each situation, for example:

  • the rehabilitation of solar photovoltaic production plants, and even emergency generators in certain cases, in order to guarantee a reliable electricity supply;
  • the refurbishment of interior electrical installations, in order to prevent electrical risks and to allow the use of high-performance medical equipment;
  • Installation of surge protectors to protect solar power plants in case of storms;
  • Electrification and lighting of additional spaces to increase the capacity of the facility;
  • the provision of refrigerators and respirators;
  • Installation of solar pumps to meet water needs;
  • Deployment of solar street lights to secure access to health care centers

Thanks to the support provided by sponsors, donors and partners of  Electriciens sans frontières, actions of this program could be launched in 8 African countries: Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, Cameroon, Senegal, Benin, Niger and Madagascar.

Many thanks to the EDF Group Foundation, Gimelec, NEOEN, the Crisis and Support Center of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Natixis Foundation, as well as to our individual donors who have once again mobilized by our side!” Hervé Gouyet, President of Electriciens sans frontières

Focus on the progress of our actions in Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, our volunteers have launched a project to strengthen 19 health care centers in 7 regions of the country, with the main objective of improving the health conditions of more than 300,000 inhabitants. This project, financed in November 2020 by the Crisis and Support Center of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is now being finalized: achievements have already been made in 8 of the 19 health care centers concerned.

In Komtoega, in 5 health centers:

In March 2021, Electriciens sans frontières led the successful completion of the planned work in this part in northern Burkina Faso, in partnership with the local association “Les amis de Komtoega” present on site. Each of the 5 health care and social promotion centers has been equipped with a solar street light, in order to secure access at nightfall, and with a solar freezer which allows the conservation of vaccines and pharmaceutical products. This action benefits the 5000 inhabitants of the region.

In Soaw, at a health care center:

In prevention of an increase in the number of Covid-19 patients in the Central West region, the Soaw health care and social promotion center installed a reception room for potentially affected patients. Electriciens sans frontières piloted the installation of a diesel generator in order to ensure a reliable electricity supply, and of a solar lamp charging station provided by the company Lagazel. The lamps can be recharged on site for a small financial contribution, which will ensure the maintenance of the electrical equipment.

In Saponé, in a health care center and in a medical center with a surgical unit:

Several complementary actions were carried out in this locality of the Centre-South region, both in its health care and social promotion center and in its medical center with a surgical unit:

  • the installation of a respirator ;
  • the repair of an incinerator, and the training of 2 people in its use;
  • the restoration of air conditioning in the 2 operating rooms, the maternity section and the laboratory;
  • the replacement of light bulbs with LED lighting, for better illumination and energy savings;
  • the installation of 3 solar-powered street lamps to secure access to the centers;
  • the refurbishment of nearly one hundred air blowers;
  • the maintenance of existing electrical installations.

Our volunteers remain fully committed to finalize the many actions planned in the framework of our Covid-19 plan, alongside our local partners: NGOs, health care personnel, public institutions and specialized companies. In this difficult period, facing present and future constraints, we maintain our course and our commitment to solidarity: to continue to act, and to “do things together” despite the distance!

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