Lighting the way...

Monday 03 Jun 2013

World's largest solar powered hospital opens in Haiti courtesy of Partners In Health

A life-altering new scheme 30 miles north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti has completed as a result of a charitable collaboration of over 150 organisations including the American Red Cross, Artists for Haiti and the GE Foundation, overseen by Partners In Health.

Hopital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM) is a 205,000 sq ft, 300-bed facility that runs entirely on energy generated from 1,800 rooftop solar panels. These panels draw on the strong Haitian sunlight to create energy for the hospital and any excess generated is passed on to the local community, strengthening its existing infrastructure.

Following the tragic earthquake of 2010 in which over 220,000 people lost their lives, the Haitian Ministry of Health requested that Partners In Health and its sister organisation Zanmi Lasante expand on existing plans for a minor community hospital. The project quickly gained momentum and over 150 organisations joined the cause. Architects working on the project include Ann Clark Architects, Copley Wolff Design Group and Nicholas Clark Architects Ltd.

Co-founder of Partners In Health Paul Farmer explains: “This hospital is the culmination of a dream dating back a quarter-century and underlines our commitment to the country and people of Haiti, which is stronger than ever after the earthquake.”

HUM is now a high-tech facility with more than 30 outpatient consulting rooms, 6 operating suites, 1,800 rooftop solar panels and a series of technological assets such as high-speed internet, video-conferencing facilities, easy access to medical gas, a portable CT scanner, and twelve HP workstations with 27-inch monitors.

The range of services HUM provides is extensive and the hospital expects to treat up to 500 patients a day from Mirebalais and two neighbouring communities. Areas covered by the facility will include prenatal care, HIV/AIDS and TB care, dental services, mental health services, orthopedic surgery, emergency medicine, non-communicable diseases and trauma.

Alongside treating a vast range of medical problems, HUM will function as a training hospital, drawing on its high-tech resources to educate the next generation of nurses and doctors. Specialised equipment and design ensures that teaching can continue within the operating rooms and a high-capacity server rack provides quick connectivity for video conferencing and online learning.

Click here for a full list of organisations involved in this scheme and for more information about services offered at HUM.

Sian Disson
News Editor

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