Salud del Sol is developing a solar autoclave, which utilizes solar box cookers - common throughout the world today - and uses only solar energy from the sun to sterilize instruments. Clinics in third-world countries worldwide need methods for sterilizing surgical utensils. Sterilization by traveling to large hospitals is timely and costly, yet without sterile instruments clinics are forced to either use the contaminated tools or turn patients away.
The solar autoclave is being developed through partnerships with the University of Dayton School of Engineering and Grupo Fenix , an international NGO located in Nicaragua. While the research and development is facilitated by members of Salud del Sol, the production of the solar autoclave will be housed by a group of entrepreneurial women "Las Mujeres Solares" (literally, The Solar Women) living and working in the rural community of Sabana Grande de Totogalpa, Nicaragua. At the cross section of social entrepreneurship, renewable energy, and international healthcare, Salud del Sol is working to fulfill the mission of:
Providing communities in Nicaragua with the opportunity to improve their own healthcare systems while supporting sustainable development that creates jobs for members of these communities.
This exciting endeavor was initiated by the foundering members of Salud del Sol, pictured above with a prototype of the solar autoclave. From left to right, Anna Young Director of Development, Lori Hanna Executive Director, Daniel Hensel Director of Product Research, and Lauren Dokes Director of Finance.
To help start the business, Salud del Sol has launched a Web site, http://www.saluddelsol.org, where people will be able to donate autoclaves to rural clinics in Nicaragua to help save lives in underserved areas. The socialized heath care there prohibits clinics from paying for them. Donations cannot be made yet, as Salud del Sol is still in the process of filing for non-profit status. In the mean time, please visit the Salud del Sol website for other ways to contribute to the mission of this organization.
News and recent developments
- Students create Salud del Sol to market solar cookers as autoclaves in Nicaragua - State Department Federal Credit Union Brass Magazine
- June 2009: Harnessing Both Sun and Cell Phone to Close Gaps in Local Health Care - Worldchanging
- April 17th - May 8th, 2009: Salud del Sol is entered in the Global Giving 2009 Project Challenge! A fundraising competition to support the solar autoclave research plans for summer 2009 in Nicaragua, including prototyping the current design, partnering with local clinics for pathogen testing, and continuing business training courses for Las Mujeres Solares. Click here to learn more about the Project Challenge and donate!
- July 6th - 16th, 2009: Solar Culture Course to be given by Grupo Fenix. For more information, please see 
Solar cooker construction plans
Articles in the media
- April 2008: Winners develop way to sterilize equipment - Flyer News