The Covid-19, affecting Africa, exposes the shortcomings of each country’s health care system. It is in this health crisis context that Winch Energy unveils its innovation. It is Winch Clinic, a mobile health centre powered entirely by clean energy. According to the company based in London, UK, these containerised health facilities are suitable for rural areas, which often lack health centres.
Concretely, these mobile clinics are installed in 6 to 12-metre (20 to 40-foot) containers that can contain four and eight service rooms at the centre. The facility can be expanded to accommodate between 24 and 48 beds. “Depending on the needs, the rooms can be set up as a clinic, consulting room, operating room, intensive care unit (ICU), examination room or office for doctors and other health care professionals,” Winch Energy explains.
Winch Clinic also provides an Internet connection, a drone loading platform for the delivery of supplies and, if necessary, accommodation for medical and administrative staff. Such a system is suitable for deployment in a few weeks in remote areas. Yet households in most villages in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity. Winch Energy, which is also a supplier of off-grid solar systems, has taken this into account.
For example, containerised clinics are equipped with off-grid solar systems with batteries to store electricity. Each clinic has a solar system for its own needs. For example, the facility that is equipped with a small 40 kWp solar power plant will have a 144 kWh storage system. An 80 kWp unit will have a storage capacity of 288 kWh. According to Winch Energy, the power of the PV system and batteries can be increased to 5 MWp and 20,000 kWh respectively, to serve a much larger clinic or health care facility.
“The Covid-19 pandemic only further underscores the importance of providing health care and facilities that can operate reliably, day and night, to treat patients and prevent the spread of disease. We are pleased to have been able to move forward with the launch of the Winch Clinic and to offer it at a time when governments and health organizations are calling for clinics that can be rapidly deployed and adapted for testing and treatment in response to the virus,” said Nicholas Wrigley, Chairman and CEO of Winch Energy.
In African countries where these systems can be deployed, Winch Energy will work with local governments to recruit personnel. The British company also will offer training for local residents through nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).