POWERING PUERTO RICO’S VACCINE REFRIGERATION
Puerto Rico, 2019
Sextant, Construction for Change, Expedia Group, and 30/30 Project team up to bring solar to Puerto Rico health centers.
Every year there are 200 new cases of type 1 diabetes in Puerto Rico, and it’s the third cause of death there. Like other life-saving supplies and vaccines, insulin quickly became obsolete across the island after Hurricane Maria. People were waiting in lines for days only to find that clinics had run out. They ended up in hospitals, many of which lacked energy required for refrigeration.
Determined to prevent this from recurring, Project HOPE established a Diabetes Program with full-time staff and a plan to develop a cold chain of key distribution points across the main island and surrounding islands of Vieques and Culebra, securing reliable, resilient energy sources for new high capacity insulin refrigerators. If another hurricane hits, these strategically selected locations will receive shipments of insulin to be distributed to nearby communities.
The first two solar installations have been completed at the University of Puerto Rico School of Pharmacy in San Juan and Salud Integral de la Montaña clinic in Corozal, with more being planned.
Our volunteers worked with local laborers to complete the installations, and ensured facilities staff can effectively manage the systems moving forward.
These systems will ensure a reliable, sustainable source of energy for the health centers and the communities they serve in the event of another hurricane or natural disaster.
“I’m an Electrical Engineer so I see panels and batteries on drawings all day long. But to see that in person and actually connect the wires in person was a really great experience.”