2010  Finalist

WE CARE Solar

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USA

WE CARE (Women’s Emergency Communication and Reliable Electricity) Solar is a social enterprise that saves lives of childbearing mothers and infants in developing regions by providing obstetric health facilities with solar power for lighting, mobile communication and essential medical devices. Pregnancy-related complications cause over 500,000 maternal deaths annually, primarily in Africa and South Asia. Life-saving obstetric care requires reliable lighting, communication and electricity. Approximately 300,000 health facilities worldwide lack this basic infrastructure. WE CARE Solar has developed and field-tested the Solar Suitcase, a user-friendly, portable, plug-and-play solar-electric system that ensures electricity, lighting, and communication for maternity care in low-resource settings. In addition, WE CARE is leveraging and building local market-based capacity and partnerships to distribute, install and maintain these systems. The Solar Suitcase facilitates timely and effective emergency care and reduces maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, thus enhancing family productivity, strengthening health systems, and improving markets for renewable energy.