‘In Sierra Leone, the mortality rates of neonates, infants and children under five are also amongst the highest globally at 34, 82, and 111 deaths per 1,000 live births’. A concern that has often left various stakeholders curiously invested in working towards solutions that would help in making things better.

On Wednesday 8th February 2023, The Rotary Club of Freetown – Sunset in partnership with Felicity Solar Ltd. donated a 20Kva solar system valued at $21,000.

In addition to a good number of Rotarians, dignitaries and health changemakers were also present;

  • Dr Mustapha Kabbah, Deputy Chief Medical Officer

  • Dr Vandy, Director of Hospitals

  • Mr Maurice Ferenke, Special Assistant to the Minister of Health and Sanitation

  • Dr Ayeshatu Mustapha, Medical Superintendent Ola During Children’s Hospital

  • Dr Ronita Luke, Consultant in Charge, ODCH Special Baby Care Unit

  • Mr Francis Jabati, Hospital Secretary ODCH

  • Dr Nellie Bell, Head of Department Paediatrics ODCH

  • Matron of ODCH

  • Mrs. Jalloh, Felicity Solar Ltd (wife of the MD of Felicity Solar)

The formal part of the handover took place in the hospital’s Board Room and was very ably chaired by Rtn. PN Millicent Cole. Statements were made by Rtn President; Dr Mustapha, the Medical Superintendent; Dr Ronita Luke; Mrs Jalloh on behalf of Felicity Solar, and Dr Mustapha Kabbah, DCMO. These were followed by a vote of thanks by the Service Projects Committee Chair, Rtn Mutulya, and by the Hospital Matron. The Rotarians then sang ‘Vive Le Rotary’ before going to the SBCU to see the solar equipment.

The MD Felicity Solar and Rtn. President

The DCMO and Rtn President; Ahmad Wurie then unveiled a plaque commemorating the installation and this was followed by another Rotary song after which photographs were taken and light refreshments were served.

The Ariana Diaries Team conducted an interview with the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Freetown Sunset and this was what they had to say about their generous donation.

Ariana Diaries: Tell us about the history of this project: Why was it done? What could be the impact for the community and Sierra Leone.

The club’s first interaction with Ola During Children’s Hospital (ODCH) was in 2018 when cleaning and other sanitary items were donated to the hospital. A visit was also made to the Special Baby Care Unit where club members learnt of the challenges the unit was having with power interruptions which resulted in babies losing their lives. It was at this point that the club decided that it would like to help.

MD- Felicity Solar

Dr. Luke was invited to give a presentation to the rest of the club, after which the club committed to raising funds to equip the Special Baby Care Unit (SBCU) with a solar system which would ensure an uninterrupted power supply. Fast forward to 2023, the dream has become a reality with the club partnering with Felicity Solar Ltd to install a 20 kVA solar system.

Rtn. Mutlya

This solar system means that babies born at ODCH and admitted to the SBCU are more likely to survive as the equipment and machinery used in caring for them will no longer go off during power cuts in the national grid. Ultimately babies born at other medical facilities who are referred to ODCH will also benefit. This project will save many lives.

The MD of Felicity Solar Ltd is Mr. Mohamed Jalloh with whom Rtn President Ahmad successfully negotiated a partnership deal. Felicity Solar did a survey at the SBCU, worked out the size of the system required to keep all the equipment going and then installed it over a period of just three (3) days.

Ariana Diaries: How does Sunset intend to support maintenance, if any? To ensure sustainability of the project.
The club, in partnership with Felicity Solar, intends to give the hospital’s technical staff maintenance training so that the hospital is actively involved in keeping the system functioning properly.

Get to know more about The Rotary Club of Freetown Sunset here.

Written by: arianadiaries

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