Zipline, the company that successfully carried out a drone delivery project in Rwanda, will be trialling the same concept in Tanzania.
This trial of drone-based deliveries of blood and other medical supplies will be funded UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID)
As with the Rwandan project, the goal is to radically reduce the amount of time it takes to send stock to health clinics in the African nation by road or other means.
The local implementation partner in Tanzania is the Ifakara Health Institute in Dar-es-Salaam, which specialises in the treatments for malaria, HIV, tuberculosis as well as neonatal health issues.
The DFID has not disclosed how much money will be invested or for how long. However it estimates that using drones to fly blood and medical supplies from Dodoma could save £47,400 (US$ 58,600 or TZS 128 million) a year compared to sending them by road.
It also announced plans to fund tests of drones in Nepal to map areas of the country prone to damage from extreme weather, so help prepare for future crises.
According to a DFID spokesperson, “Flights are planned to start in early 2017, and when they do it is estimated that [the] UAVs could support over 50,000 births a year, cutting down the time mothers and new-borns would have to wait for life-saving medicine to 19 minutes – reduced from the 110 minutes traditional transport methods would take.”
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