AFRICA: Solarkiosk and Unitar’s Covid-19 mobile and solar test laboratories

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AFRICA: Solarkiosk and Unitar's Covid-19 mobile and solar test laboratories©Solarkiosk

Solar solution provider Solarkiosk has teamed up with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to offer mobile laboratories for coronavirus testing in Africa. These facilities run on solar energy.

How can the response to the spread of the new coronavirus in rural areas in Africa be ensured? The Solarkiosk company and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (Unitar) offer the first steps in the response. These two organizations offer equipment to limit the spread of the disease.

These include easy-to-deploy mobile laboratories for people living in remote areas. These facilities will make it possible to test people likely to be infected with Covid-19. According to Solarkiosk, these modular laboratories have a capacity of 500 tests per day. The facilities are powered by an off-grid solar system capable of delivering 28 kWp each. To ensure continuity of service after sunset, the company is also installing a battery storage system.

Covid-19 patient care

SolarKiosk and Unitar also want to provide mobile clinics equipped with a solar system capable of providing 70 kWp of electricity with a 150 kWh storage system. The company estimates that these easy-to-deploy clinics could accommodate 90 patients with different infection statuses, “according to WHO (World Health Organization) recommendations.

“Based on the WHO Operational Planning Guidelines to support country preparedness and response to Covid-19, the project aims to limit the impact of the disease by strengthening national public health capacity and infrastructure, particularly in the least developed countries on the African continent, which are sorely lacking in material and human resources to deal with the public health emergency,” explains SolarKiosk. The company also indicates that it intends to adopt its project to the various national strategies of fight against Covid-19 in force in African countries.

The support of several partners

In the field, SolarKiosk and Unitar plan to work with local staff, including the dissemination of advice on infection prevention and control for community-based care providers. These include self-management instructions for patients with mild symptoms of Covid-19.

SolarKiosk and Unitar are supported by Solarworx, an off-grid provider based in Berlin, Germany, and Siemens Healthineers, a subsidiary of German medical equipment giant Siemens. SolarKiosk also worked in this initiative with Nexol, Groots and Bos-Ag. “In their respective areas of specialisation, the partners will collaborate on the implementation of a series of activities covering the provision of infrastructure, equipment and training at different levels and for different categories of healthcare workers involved in the front line of emergency response,” SolarKiosk explains.

Jean Marie Takouleu


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