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West Bank Solar Clinic

posted 14 Jul 2013, 08:09 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 14 Jul 2013, 08:09 ]

A mobile medical clinic powered by solar energy is delivering healthcare to Palestinian residents living in Area 'C' of the West Bank, where Israeli regulation forbids construction. Tara Cleary reports.

WALAJEH VILLAGE + WALAJEH, WEST BANK (REUTERS) - In the shadow of a barrier wall isolating the Palestinian village of Walajeh in an Israeli-controlled sector of the West Bank, local authorities have found an innovative way to bring health care to residents.

The Walajeh clinic is collapsible, transportable and run on solar-power. It's the brainchild of architect Alberto Alcalde, who says strict building restrictions imposed by Israel in the so-called Area 'C' inspired his design.

ALBERTO ALCALDE, ARCHITECT AND PROJECT MANAGER, 

"The technical challenge was to create a unit foldable and unfoldable; foldable so that it should be a very small and reduce volume in order to be transported by the road and fulfill all the regulations of transportation but at the same time once it arrives to a place and it is placed in a location, it should have the minimum allowed space in order to carry on with medical activities without problem."

Opened by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, the facilities were soon put to the test by municipal counselor Abed al-Rahman Abu Al-teen.

ABED AL-RAHMAN ABU AL-TEEN, HEAD OF WALAJEH MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, 

"The reality is that our village has not had any health facilities, so it's in dire need of health services. This mobile clinic will alleviate the suffering of residents without access to hospitals and also in emergency cases."

And in an area cut off from nearby Bethlehem and mostly inaccessible to the rest of the Palestinian population, it is hoped that the solar-powered clinic will not only provide vital healthcare, but also inspire others, according to Health MinisterJawad Awwad.

JAWAD AWWAD, PALESTINIAN HEALTH MINISTER, 

"Our nation under all circumstances has found the solution to move on, we have survived for centuries and we will survive and we will invent the tools to keep our nation alive."

... in this case, using the sun and some creative thinking.


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