Light and Electricity for the Magbenteh Hospital in Sierra Leone

Nexans Deutschland supports hospital construction in the African conflict zone

Hanover, May 15, 2009 – This year, Nexans Deutschland is making a further donation to support the building and running of the Magbenteh Community Hospital in Makeni, Sierra Leone. The hospital, located in this crisis-ridden African country, is taking delivery from Nexans of solar power cables for the construction of a solar power plant. This should ensure a round-the-clock uninterrupted power supply to the hospital itself and to the medical equipment. The globally operating cable manufacturer supplied the hospital with data and power cables back in 2008.

Due to the lack of a public power supply – rebels destroyed the network during the civil war which ended in 2001 – the hospital finds itself in a difficult situation. The current situation is that the hospital’s power supply functions only for approximately three hours during the day. At night, the hospital has no power supply whatsoever. Equipment which is constantly required, such as respiratory devices, can only be powered using a small emergency generator, while the maternity labour room is lit with emergency lighting from torches. A photovoltaic facility which generates the urgently needed solar power should provide relief here. Under the direction of the Swiss-Sierra Leone Development Foundation, based in Gland, Switzerland, Johannes Tonhäuser, pastor in Bergisch-Gladbach, has been providing on-site support to this project for many years: he is also the person who established contact with Nexans. "As soon as the rainy season is over and we have received the missing batteries for storage", says Pastor Tonhäuser, "we will be able to put the facility into operation, probably in August. With the donation of cables from Nexans, we are another giant step closer to this objective."

Sierra Leone in West Africa, with an area of 70,000 km2 and a population of more than five million, is one of the poorest countries in Africa. A brutal civil war which lasted for eleven years ended in 2001. The infrastructure, which had been completely destroyed, is currently being reconstructed under the supervision of UN peacekeeping forces. One of the few organisations which was also active in the country during the civil war is the "Swiss-Sierra Leone Development Foundation" (SSLDF), based in Gland, Switzerland.

Magbente Community Hospital
Rebuilt with the help of numerous donations and altruistic assistance:
the Magbenteh Community Hospital (MCH) in Makeni, Sierra Leone

Men, women and children are all treated in the hospital, which was rebuilt in 2006; there is a separate ward for undernourished children. The hospital has a total of 150 beds

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