Bình Hòa Nam village is home of about 6500 people. It is about 7 km from Đức Huệ town centre, Long An province, which is located 75 km from HCM City. To reach the village from HCMC, travellers have to go by car for about 2 hrs 30 minutes (through Đức Huệ) and then about 25 minutes by small boats. The local people make their living mainly by rice growing. Production is very low because many parts of the village are affected by acid sulphate (phèn). The living standard of the population is therefore very poor.
Bình Hòa Nam Health Centre
The health centre consists of 4 rooms and has 4 staff. It is the only centre available which provides basic health care for the local population, including emergency medical treatment and birth delivery. The most modern piece of equipment in the centre is a sphygmomanometer (to measure blood pressure).
Solar Lighting System
The village is not connected to the national electric grid. Therefore, there is no electric supply at the Centre. Vietnam Foundation installed for the Centre a solar electric system. The system is used for lighting of the examination room, birth delivery room, patients’ room, staff office and for powering a black & white TV. It is completed with 75Wp solar panel manufactured by BP Solar (Australia), charger/regulator, 100Ah accumulator, batteries and light fittings.
The project was completed in December 1997. Contributors of the project included:
- BP Solar (Australia) for solar panels
- Vietnam Airlines for transportation
- Scitec Co. (HCM City) for customs clearance and storage
- SolarLab (HCM City) for installation and technical assistance.