A Scottish engineer is bringing hot water and electricity to a Tanzanian hospital for the first time.
Dr Tom Grassie is using old bed frames as pipes for the water supply and setting up a solar-powered electricity system at Shirati hospital on the banks of Lake Victoria.
Until recently, doctors at the medical facility were carrying out caesareans and other emergency operations by torchlight. Hundreds of sheets had to be washed by hand over wood fires.
The rural hospital serves 200,000 people in an area where malaria and HIV are endemic.
Dr Grassie, an engineering lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University, is leading the project to install the kit at the hospital.
He has developed a system which uses scrap metal for disused hospital beds to provide a supply of hot water to the site. The water will be heated by the sun before going down the bed frames as pipes.
Dr Grassie said: "I've got a strong re-cycling, skip-racking philosophy and when I was at Shirati I noticed a yard full of old beds. I essentially saw their frames as free, water pipes which could be used for a rooftop solar water heater system."
A solar energy system will also be used to give the operating theatre constant electricity for the first time.
Dr Grassie said: "The system uses a large bank of rechargeable batteries, powered up by solar electric panels (PV panels). By incorporating inverters into the system, it means that both the generator, when on line, and the national grid, when connected, will be able to add charge to the batteries.
"It'll lead to a guaranteed uninterrupted power supply for a period of 4 days without having to use either mains power or the generator."
Jo Magatti from the hospital said: "Without power even the most sophisticated equipment is redundant. The situation in the theatre was dire. The new power system will transform the way our medics can work."
Dr Grassie has already raised £16,000 for the project and will return later this year to complete it. He is determined to raise money funds for other improvements.
He said: "Shirati is in desperate need of a decent refrigeration system to keep bloods and medicines, so we'd like to continue to fundraise to make that happen."
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