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Drones will air-drop essential medical supplies in remote areas

Drones to deliver medicines to remote areas

ATLANTA, USA, May 9, 2016

The UPS Foundation, set up by logistics firm UPS has partnered with Zipline, an American robotics company and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to develop a system using drones to deliver medication and vaccines across the world.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership committed to saving children's lives and protecting people's health by increasing equitable use of vaccines in lower-income countries.

This partnership combines UPS’ global logistics expertise and cold chain and healthcare delivery experience with Zipline’s national drone delivery network and Gavi’s experience in developing countries focusing on saving lives and protecting health in the most remote parts of the world, said a press statement.

The UPS Foundation has awarded an $800,000 grant to support the initial launch of this initiative in Rwanda.

Commenting on the partnership, Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS, said: “Public-private partnerships are the key to solving many of the world’s challenges, with each partner contributing its unique expertise. UPS is always exploring innovative ways to enhance humanitarian logistics to help save lives, and we’re proud to partner with Gavi and Zipline as we explore ways to extend the Rwandan government’s innovations at a global scale.”

Starting later this year, the Rwandan government will begin using Zipline drones, which can make up to 150 deliveries per day of life-saving blood to 21 transfusing facilities located in the western half of the country.

“Our partnership with UPS and Zipline is an exciting step into a new territory for the delivery of medical supplies,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “It is a totally different way of delivering vaccines to remote communities and we are extremely interested to learn if UAVs can provide a safe, effective way to make vaccines available for some of the hardest-to-reach children.”

While Rwanda’s national drone network is initially focused on the delivery of blood supplies, the plan is to expand the initiative to include vaccines, treatments for HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and many other essential and lifesaving medicines. Rwanda’s drone delivery operation is expected to save thousands of lives over the next three years and could serve as a model for other countries.

“The inability to deliver life-saving medicines to the people who need them the most causes millions of preventable deaths each year. The work of this partnership will help solve that problem once and for all,” said Zipline CEO Keller Rinaudo. –TradeArabia News Service

 




Tags: UPS | drone | GAVI | Rwanda | zipline |

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