Agrophotovoltaics (APV) in Mali and The Gambia Project

In Mali and The Gambia, an interdisciplinary consortium is implementing an agrophotovoltaics (APV) project. “APV-MaGa”, is based on an integrated triple land use system that allows for the production of food, electricity and water through rainwater harvesting. In dry, hot and sunny climatic regions like Mali and the Gambia, crops are expected to respond with higher yields as the partial shade of the PV panels protects them from excessive sun, heat and severe weather events hence, increasing climate change resilience. An intelligent systems based on smart sensors, microcontrollers respectively Internet of Things will be designed to monitor and collect real time data for water demand and water allocation for irrigation systems. Furthermore, web-access will be devloped in order to provide information on agricultural products and organized payment for various services offer to the community. The project is funded by BMBF Germany.

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February 17, 2022

Bike Ambulances to improve Emergency Obstetric Care in Rural Areas

Maternal mortality and morbidity rates remain high in Cote d’Ivoire. It is estimated that more than six women out of a thousand are dying while delivering birth, while 0.7% of the women of childbearing age have fistula in the country (MICS, 2016). While the strengthening of the health system is taking place, women in the country, especially in the rural area, stay vulnerable to the high risk of maternal death and morbidity. From behavioral perspectives, the barriers that leads to the three delays–(1) deciding to seek care; (2) identifying and reaching a medical facility; (3) receiving adequate and appropriate treatment may include the following (Cichowitz et al., 2018): Factors related to the first delay: social norms (community prefers to deliver at home), limited transportation and health care services at night, and negative experience in hospitals in the past (lack of trust). Factors related to the second delay of reaching a medical facility: a lack of available transportation, long travel times, and perception of high medical costs (walking 36.5%, car 34.6%, bus 13.5%, and motorcycle 13.5% in case of a study in Tanzania). In this context, this rapid prototyping initiative seeks to develop a new low-cost, safe transportation for women to prevent maternal mortality and morbidity in rural areas, by tackling the barriers that often lead to delay of emergency obstetric care (EmOC). It also aims to collect and utilize the GPS data/information of the bike ambulances to enable regional hospitals and the government to make better decisions in providing care, utilize hospital ambulances efficiently, and enhance communication between the care-seeker and care-provider.
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