Distinguished Researchers—Michael Hawkes
Solar energy can save kids’ lives
Michael Hawkes is harnessing the sun’s power to reduce childhood deaths in the developing world.
Hawkes is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and a pediatric infectious diseases physician. He has developed a solar-powered oxygen system that delivers medical-grade oxygen 24/7, off the grid. It combines solar panels, batteries and oxygen concentrators.
About 900,000 children die annually of pneumonia, most of them in poor countries with limited access to lifesaving oxygen. Fewer than 10 per cent of pediatric hospital wards in Uganda, for example, have adequate oxygen therapy.
Hawkes’ team has installed two solar oxygen systems in Uganda and the Distinguished Researcher funding will help them expand into 20 more.