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FAIRMED equips Bankim district hospital with a solar refrigerator

FAIRMED is breaking new ground: In a pilot project, FAIRMED has joined forces with the Bern-based company NGO Solafrica and their partner organisation AJVC to install a solar refrigerator in Bankim district hospital. This will allow the precious vaccines stored in the building to remain cool at all times.

Successful teamwork à la FAIRMED

Many of the rural areas of Cameroon lack a fully developed power grid, and our project area in Bankim is no exception. Generators, which are extremely noisy, expensive to maintain and not always 100% reliable, are the most commonly used source of power. For hospitals and other health care facilities that store vaccines and other medicines, this unreliability is particularly problematic.

If a generator fails, the refrigerators lose their power supply and the vaccines and other heat-sensitive medicines are potentially rendered less effective or useless. An obvious solution to this problem is solar powered refrigerators, and this is precisely the solution that is being pursued – and installed – by Bernese NGO Solafrica, which is working to promote solar energy in Africa.

Collaborating in Bern and Cameroon
Among other activities, the company is also running projects in Cameroon, which is one reason why a collaboration with FAIRMED seemed like such a good idea. And so, this last summer, the two Bern-based organisations hatched a plan to equip the district hospital in our project area of Bankim with a solar refrigerator. In the end, the project was planned and implemented in just a few days together with the Solafrica’s Cameroonian partner organisation AJVC (Association jeunesse verte du Cameroun), the FAIRMED staff on the ground, local authorities and hospital staff.