President Clinton visits Solar Sister’s site in Tanzania

After a breakfast at the Ngorongoro Crater Ring, President Clinton drove for half an hour to Nainokanoka Dispensary in Ngorongoro. At the dispensary, he was greeted by a representative from the Ministry of Health, Arusha Regional medical office, dozens of local villagers and health care workers. Dr. Shemaghembi I. Bakari, in charge of the Nainokanoka facility, spoke with President Clinton about how the Clinton Health Access Initiative’s work has averted many children’s deaths by making pneumonia and rotavirus vaccines readily available at their facility and ensured optimal vaccine delivery to children. Those vaccines are more optimal because CHAI increased efficiency and improved performance of vaccine delivery and cold chain systems. This was accomplished by supporting the government in developing robust cold chain plans, establishing reliable temperature monitoring and control systems, accelerating the adoption of impactful appropriate new cold chain products; and improving stock management and distribution systems.

President Clinton saw the Solar Direct Drive (SDD) refrigerators that were procured by CHAI which make sure the dispensary has capacity to store vaccines for the facility and keep the vaccines at proper temperatures, ensuring that they remain effective. Before the solar fridge, it would often take days for the LP gas to reach the dispensary, during which the vaccines could potentially be destroyed if not transferred to a nearby storage, a process which interrupts continuation of immunization services.  CHAI has also developed a temperature monitoring system that notifies everyone relevant in the supply chain via SMS when the cold chain storage becomes too hot or too cold.

President Clinton also saw the ice lined containers that the facility uses to transport these vaccines, so that they are able to reach more remote areas. This was done at this clinic because the catchment population they served lives far away – one woman walked 12 miles so that her child could be vaccinated. This is typical of the remote areas where CHAI works – the catchment population travels from 20 to 60 km to get to the health center.

President Clinton then met with mothers who have been able to vaccinate their children thanks to the CHAI program.1.8 million children in Tanzania receive potent vaccines as a result of CHAI’s work ensuring the vaccines are stored at the proper temperatures and improving cold chains supply.

This afternoon, President Clinton visited a Solar Sister program site in Karatu town. Solar Sister is part of Sustainable Energy Solutions Powered by Women’s Enterprise, a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action. Solar Sister connects women in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria to training opportunities, and micro-financing groups to increase savings and investment.

President Clinton visited with Chrecensia Shoki, who uses a solar panel on her roof to send energy to a generator that provides her house with power. Chrecensia explained how selling environmentally-friendly goods, such as solar-powered lights and cookstoves, has helped her increase her income. The extra income allows her to pay school fees, buy e strongest sellers in the group and sells out of her home, door to door, and in the market. One of her key selling techniques is explaining the lights allow children to do their homework and can charge cell phones so communications can be increased.

To date the Solar Sisters have trained 500 entrepreneurs, 300 of which were in Tanzania and as a result have 250,000 beneficiaries globally and for the commitment. Following his visit, President Clinton saw a group of Solar Sister participants who performed a dance for the group.

Pictures from today’s visit can be found here.

This Press Release is originally published by the Clinton Foundation. Solar Sister is a proud member of the Clinton Global Initiative and partner of ENERGIA in the WE Programme.