It is sometimes difficult to think of a nation such as Syria that we only hear about in the news due to unrest and violence in more practical terms. These countries still have ordinary people trying to make ends meet, maintain good health, and live their lives in much of the same way we do. It is important to remember that conflict affects all aspects of the lives of the citizens, whether it is a direct or indirect effect.
In Syria in particular, the struggles of the nation have led to the destruction of much of its electrical grid, leaving areas without access to proper amenities. This unfortunately includes hospitals, which require stable and sufficient power to save lives. This has left them relying on diesel generators, a fact that increases costs and leaves the hospitals at the mercy of the often unstable diesel market.
Thanks to the UOSSM (Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations), 480 solar panels have been installed across Syrian hospitals in an attempt to stabilize their power systems. These panels can supply enough energy to operate the ICU, operating rooms, and emergency departments. They are also expected to save over 7,000 liters of diesel a month, saving the hospitals as much as 30% of their monthly costs.
Syria is a nation that is ideal for solar energy collection, and stands to gain the most benefit of self-reliance. Purchasing diesel only further fuels the conflicts of the nation, while the ever-fluctuating costs and varying availability of the fuel source inflict a burden on both the hospitals and those they serve.
The UOSSM hopes to continue its pursuit of aiding the Syrian hospitals, with plans for 5 more facilities in the works. They hope to work together with potential partners to save lives in a nation in much need of hope.