By Sgt. Dustin Roberts , 2nd HBCT PAO, 1st Inf. Div., MND-BJune 30, 2009
BAGHDAD - Another health clinic in northwest Baghdad was converted to a solar-powered facility.
The new and improved Dahkel Clinic was unveiled in a ceremony in the Hurriyah neighborhood of northwest Baghdad June 17.
As the main health clinic in the neighborhood, the clinic provides health care to about 500,000 Iraqi citizens.
Before the panels were installed on the roof of the clinic, it could only be powered for about six hours per-day.
Now it can run for up to 24 hours per-day.
"By using solar power we have rejuvenated this clinic," said Col. Joseph Martin, who hails from Dearborn, Mich., commander, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team "Dagger," 1st Infantry Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad.
The Dagger Brigade worked with the Ministry of Health in the project to improve the clinic, which started in February.
"Now the Dahkel Clinic has the increased capacity to preserve medicine through the use of vaccine refrigerators, incubators for newborns and other medical devices," said Martin.
Because of frequent power outages while running on Iraq's power grid, surgical procedures were interrupted, vaccines were ruined due to the lack of refrigeration and the limited supply of fuel had to send patients home without proper health care.
"The green energy power supply eliminates all need for generators," said Mahdi Jonny," bilingual and bicultural advisor, 2nd HBCT. "With this great accomplishment we will give services for generations to come."
The idea for the project came after the success of the Ameriyah Clinic in northwest Baghdad, which reopened with solar-powered capabilities earlier this year.
The brigade has also worked with the Government of Iraq to install solar-powered street lights throughout northwest Baghdad and Abu Ghraib County just west of the city.
"The improvements being highlighted here are an example of Coalition forces' ongoing partnership with the local government to provide essential services, specifically the Ministry of Health, in order to improve local health care capacity in Hurriyah," said Martin. "We want to continue to chose projects that we can work together with the Government of Iraq, the district councils and the local neighborhood councils to complete, which are beneficial to the people of Baghdad."