Project uses solar panels for electric ambulances in Syria

October 04, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
A group of doctors in Syria has raised $250,000 to develop an electric ambulance that can uses solar panels to provide power.

The HIRS (Health Integrated Resilience System) will combine solar energy, electric ambulances and tele-medicine and is led by the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM).

The purchase of fuel in war zones like Syria is difficult, dangerous and expensive and the unavailability of fuel can be the difference between life and death for patients. Purchasing diesel, often controlled by armed groups, ultimately perpetuates violence and the war economy. An electric ambulance using power from solar cells avoids these problems.

The project is an extension of the ‘Syria Solar’ project, a pilot solar power system where UOSSM installed 480 solar panels in the largest hospital in northern Syria in May 2017. The project saves over 7,000 liters of diesel per month. With the success of the pilot, plans are under way by various active partners and entities to install solar power in 40 medical facilities in northern Syria by summer 2019.

The HIRS project also aims to use  telemedicine to address the knowledge and qualified human resources gap in conflict zones like in Syria, where many medical staff have fled and at least 730 have been killed in the past 7 years. “By integrating telemedicine into hospitals and clinics, our staff can communicate instantly and obtain the support needed from physicians and specialists around the world,” said Dr Monzer Yazji, Co-Founder of UOSSM International.

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