Use solar energy to sterilize medical instruments in health centers in Benin

The numerous electricity outages make it difficult to sterilize medical instruments in health centers in Nikki, Benin, a town strategically located between Nigeria, Benin, and Burkina Faso. To remedy this, the OAN International association is going to install solar-powered autoclaves in two health centers.

Humanitarian & Development

Nikki (Benin)

Javier Martin Sanz

€2,000 Peoples’ choice of the 2017 Student Solidarity Awards

Project Leader

OAN International

Created in 2014, OAN (Objectif Analyse Nikki) International includes students from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid and the Universidad de Valladolid. The association's mission is the local development of the town of Nikki in northeast Benin. Every year, a team visits the site to implement various projects (water access projects, irrigation projects, scholarship programs, etc.).

An autoclave is a device for sterilizing surgical instruments used in a medical environment through heat and pressurized steam.
In 2017, OAN International members chose to work on helping the town's two busiest health centers, the Anour clinic and the Sounon Seron hospital, which jointly treat over 300,000 patients from Benin, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso every year. There are regular power cuts which makes sterilizing medical instruments difficult. OAN International is planning to install solar-powered autoclaves.
During the academic year, students designed, built, and tested a prototype autoclave to be installed at the Sounon Sero Hospital with their professors. A second autoclave for the Anoun clinic will be built in Nikki with a team of Beninese volunteers. Through this training, the team of volunteers will be able to reproduce the pilot and install solar-powered autoclaves in other health clinics on their own. The association will also train medical personnel in the use and maintenance of this equipment.

The Veolia Foundation supports this project which combines innovation and skills transfer. It is also supported by web users who massively voted online for OAN International winning it the People's choice prize. The Foundation's financial support will help the association purchase solar concentrators, pressure receptacles, and maintenance equipment.