"Solar Suitcase" Saving Moms, Babies During Childbirth

U.S. Doctor Laura Stachel has invented a portable kit of solar-powered equipment that allows doctors in Nigeria (and elsewhere) to more safely deliver babies when the power goes out in their hospitals:

[Stachel] witnessed countless other times when the lives of mothers and babies were at risk simply because of a lack of reliable electricity. Pregnant women would arrive at the hospital with severe complications, but without adequate light to treat them, procedures had to be compromised or delayed until daylight. Some women were even turned away.

“I realized that my skills as an obstetrician-gynecologist were utterly useless (without) something as basic as light and electricity,” Stachel said.

Stachel said midwives in Nigeria use all kinds of makeshift lighting when they deliver babies: kerosene lanterns, candles, even cell phones.

“That’s not adequate light for maternity care,” she said. “If somebody is hemorrhaging, if a baby needs resuscitation, you need to have directed light.”

Amazing, inspiring story.