On May 24, 2011 UNDP Administrator Ms. Helen Clark visited a project site of UNDP in Chuvalachi village of Keles district in Tashkent during her official visit to Uzbekistan.
Chuvalachi is a village to the north-west of Tashkent, located in outskirts of Keles district bordering Kazakhstan. With almost 6,000 people living in the village, Chuvalachi needs access to good and timely healthcare.
However, power cut offs can hinder the quality of medical services provided to people. Even short power cuts, can result in spoilage of medical lab tests, leading to wrong diagnosis and therefore improper treatment. They also lead to medicines and vaccines losing their medical effectiveness. Sterilizing devices are not operational during power cuts, and it increases possibilities for infections of medical instruments and materials. During emergencies lack of working medical equipment can put people’s lives at risk.
To help the people of Chuvalachi, in 2008 UNDP in cooperation with the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan installed energy efficient and renewable energy solutions to provide uninterrupted and reliable supply of power and heat to this rural clinic. “Now, during power cut offs we connect the equipment to the alternate power source when the grid is off”, - explains Ms. Zulfiya Khakimova, Chief Doctor of the rural clinic. “This is very efficient and helpful, especially at times when we need working refrigerator to keep vaccines fresh as we are conducting vaccination for our people against polio now”, - she says.
“With over 250 sunny days a year, solar systems have great potential in Uzbekistan. For the past year alone, the system saved 35% of the total annual electricity bill for the rural clinic”, - said Mr. Abduvakkos Abdurahmanov, Head of Energy and Environment Unit at UNDP Uzbekistan. The results of the project are also integrated into the ongoing UNDP/GEF project “Promoting Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings”, which is currently reviewing national building codes and standards, to include Energy Efficient and Renewable Energy considerations, - adds Mr. Abdurahmanov.
The staff at the rural clinic are proud to share that in 2010 the clinic won the Best Rural Health Clinic contest in Uzbekistan, among 3,000 other RHCs and received a prize – an ambulance car.
“I am a mother of 4 kids – one of my daughters, due to her medical condition must regularly go through check-ups and treatment. In the past, such check-ups and treatment were practically impossible due to frequent power cut offs and cold facilities. We are very grateful to UNDP, now we don’t have such problems in the clinic” – shares her thoughts Ms. Dildora Giyosova.
“I met women across many walks of life today at this UNDP initiative of green energy solutions for rural health clinics. Our world is so fascinating, and there is an infinite number of stories to be told!”, - said Ms. Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator during her recent visit.