“Sun For Ukraine” Project Hopes To Light Up The Operating Rooms of Ukrainian Hospitals

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has now been ongoing for over a year, is causing significant damage to Ukrainian infrastructure. The risk of power outages is particularly dangerous for hospitals. The international project “Sun For Ukraine” hopes that funding the installation of solar panels could be the solution. Photo: Installation of solar panels in the Zvyahel hospital. Credit: Ekoklub.

Brno, 17 March (BD) – Russian attacks on Ukraine’s basic infrastructure are an integral part of the invasion. Bombings and drone strikes result in outages in the supply of drinking water, heat, and electricity. The interruption of electricity supplies poses a great danger to hospitals, where devices in intensive care units or lights in operating rooms rely on a constant supply of electricity. One possible solution to ensure the desired stability for Ukrainian hospitals is solar panels – a source of renewable energy placed directly on the roofs of hospitals.

The Zhytomyr region lies near the border with Belarus, and the threat of Russian attacks and resultant power outages is still present here. It is also the location of the first hospital whose roof has been decorated with solar panels. Zviahel hospital provides care for about 170,000 people and includes a maternity ward as well as operating and resuscitation rooms. Some of the hospital’s over 300 patients must be permanently connected to lung ventilators, and these devices, like much other equipment, need a stable and continuous supply of electricity.

From the beginning of the war, the hospital was dependent on a diesel generator in case of blackouts. This provided enough energy to ensure the most necessary operations and functioning of devices, but due to its consumption of diesel, its operation was unsustainable in the long term, both from a financial and environmental point of view. Instead, 60 solar panels will now deliver light to the operating rooms and energy to devices in the event of a failure, which ensures the stability of the entire system without further dependence on fuels and their combustion, which destroys the surrounding air.

For a brighter future

In addition to the security that solar panels bring to the dedicated doctors and patients dependent on their care, there are also other benefits. The solar panels will supply the hospital with clean energy for at least another 20 years, thereby facilitating the post-war reconstruction of the region, and will also save approximately 13,000 euros per year. The management of the Zviahel Hospital can use these funds to buy new equipment or medicines, helping to save lives of the victims of the Russian invasion, rather than buying diesel fuel that often comes from undemocratic regimes.

At a time when Ukrainian hospitals are caring for soldiers and civilians whose lives have been affected by Russian aggression, however, hospital managers cannot obtain sufficient funds to purchase solar panels. The hospital in Zvyahel was helped by the campaign for a sustainable Ukraine. It is hoped that other facilities will also be helped in the same way through an international fundraising initiative, Sun for Ukraine,  which is being supported in the Czech Republic by the NESEHNUTÍ organisation. 

Sun for Ukraine aims to help those most at risk – the wounded and sick, who depend on the work of doctors, now selflessly caring for people’s health in often extreme conditions accompanied by rocket attacks and power outages. Thanks to international cooperation initiated by the Ukrainian organisation Ekoklub, solar panels should gradually start appearing on the roofs of six hospitals; the next in line is a medical facility in the city of Sumy, about 50 kilometres from the Russian border.

Sun for Sumy

Over a quarter of a million people live in Sumy, where the hospital is located. Last year, over 7,000 operations were performed here, of which 4,000 were urgent. The solar panels, costing 27,500 euros each, will provide enough energy for the stable operation of all three operating units and will bring light to the work of doctors and the lives of their patients. Donating to the initiative and thus supporting the purchase of renewable and stable energy sources for Ukrainian hospitals is possible through the campaign on the Darujme portal or the NESEHNUTÍ website.

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