By Ben Kritz, The Manila Times
STA. CRUZ, Marinduque – Rural health centers in remote areas of Marinduque will be able to provide expanded services for local residents after the installation of solar home electricity systems through the support of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Health (DOH).
The solar equipment, capable of providing 750 watts of electric power, was installed at the rural health facilities in Barangay Bantay, Boac, and Barangay Maniway, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque, through coordination between DOST, DOH, and the provincial government of Marinduque.
The solar system consists of roof-mounted solar panels, inverter, charge controller, and batteries, the DOST explained.
Once installed, the health facilities will be able to operate 24 hours a day, as well as maintain proper lighting, ventilation, and refrigerated storage for vaccines and other supplies, the DOH said.
It will also allow the facilities reliable access to the “RxBox” medical monitoring system, the health department added, allowing rural health care workers to check patients’ health, especially that of expectant mothers.
After the successful deployment of the first two solar systems, the DOH said the local government units of Gasan and Boac have proposed installation in three more isolated areas, including a birthing center located in Binunga, Boac, which is scheduled to be the next facility equipped with solar power.
“The establishment of solar home systems is the result of the advocacy of DOST-MIMAROPA Regional Director Josefina P. Abilay to provide meaningful healthcare improvement in rural communities across the region through innovative solutions,” the DOST said in a statement.
“DOST-MIMAROPA’s persistent lobbying efforts convinced the Department of Health-MIMAROPA (DOH-MIMAROPA) and local government units in Marinduque to move first in electrification of health facilities in Marinduque using the solar home system,” it added.
MORE POWER The Rural Health Unit in Barangay Maniwaya, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque is now equipped with a 750-watt solar home system, thanks to a cooperative effort by the Dept. of Science and Technology, Dept. of Health, and local government units in Marinduque. PHOTOS DOST