Rwanda : drones flying blood supplies to clinics
The government of Rwanda announced on October 14th a new emergency drone delivery services, with a 15-drone squadron outside Kigali to distribute blood supplies to clinics in remote parts of the country. Up to 150 trips per day can be done, in a country where some roads are not accessible during the rainy season.
This is an integrated digital system: health workers can text the blood type they require to the drone base, nicknamed “the Nest”. Workers will load the drone, with up to 1.5kg of supplies. It is said that a trip that could take hours by car can be accomplished in under 30min, thereby helping to save lives in emergency situations.
The government program is a test, and if it proves satisfying, it could be expanded from blood supplies to vaccines. However, security of delivery, training of the workers who receive the packages and the respect of the cold chains will be a few constraints to tackle in the future.
President Kagame declared “I hope that this project will inspire more innovation and entrepreneurship in commercially viable technologies in Rwanda”.