Lights On 24/7 for Abu Ghraib Hospital
For the first time in many years, the Abu Ghraib Hospital was able to turn on its lights in November â€“ without having to count down the hours until the lights went out again.
After several months of planning and work by the Beladiya, the Abu Ghraib Hospital started receiving constant power through an 11kv power line that stretches nearly 1.5 kilometers back to the Al Ban Substation.
The new 11kv power line is exempted from the load-shedding plan that forces substation operations to ration limited power to the various neighborhoods connected to it on a two hours on and a four hours off schedule, said Capt. Mark Gillman, a native of Las Vegas, who serves as an engineer, assigned to 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team â€œWarrior,â€ 25th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division â€“ Baghdad.
With sufficient power, the more than two dozen physicians are now able to run basic services without disturbance, including laboratory equipment, refrigeration of medications and more complex neonatal incubators and echocardiograms, he explained.
Periodic stoppages throughout the day have long hindered treatment, particularly for inpatients. The 50-bed hospital is the primary inpatient facility in west Baghdad and serves more than 200,000 residents from Khadamiyah to Balad.
The U.S.-funded project cost approximately $200,000 and began in August, with the digging of a trench from the substation to the hospital and reinforcing certain areas of the trench to provide extra support for the line.
The Abu Ghraib Hospital electric line project is just one project of the hospital network, which is funded by both the United States and the government of Iraq.
â€œWe are able to move forward on many projects now due to the increased security by the local security forces,â€ said a member of the Abu Ghraib Qada Council, after a meeting at governance center.
The 11kv line project is just one element of a group of larger projects to completely renovate the hospital: inside and out.
This was made possible only through the cooperation and coordination of the Abu Ghraib Nahia Council, Abu Ghraib Electric Office, Abu Ghraib Beladiya Office, Abu Ghraib Irrigation Office, Abu Ghraib Sewage Office and the Karkh Directorate General for Electricity Distribution.
If not for the support and cooperation of these GoI offices to plan and approve the dedicated electric line, the hospital would have continued in its struggle to support a population of more than 300,000 people with the eight hours of sporadic power it received per day.
â€œI have been overjoyed at the support of the local government,â€ said Dr. Najh Noori Jaber, hospital director, â€œWe have been in much need, and they have come through to help the people of Abu Ghraib.â€
By Capt. Benjamin Roark
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team â€œWarrior,â€ 25th Infantry Division
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This entry was posted on Monday, January 5th, 2009 at 2:38 pm and is filed under War on Terror, Iraq, War on Terror, Iraq, Rebuilding, War on Terror. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.