Drone delivery of medicine | Sunday Observer

Drone delivery of medicine

Access to vital health products, in Sri Lanka and around the world, is hampered by the last mile problem: the difficulty of matching the supply of medicine from central storage to the demand at urban and rural health facilities. All too often, people requiring lifesaving care do not get the medicine they need when they need it. This has been a major issue in Sri Lanka in the recent past with the annual flooding, landslides and many other catastrophes.

“The need to accelerate the supply chain management vis a vis the traditional vehicles has been identified by many healthcare professionals. Despite Sri Lanka having one of the best health care systems in the region, there is the need to incorporate faster access to critical healthcare for all the citizens as and when they need it.

This is essential during crisis situations where inventories that are available in hospitals are insufficient or unavailable” stated Dr. Naveen Udawella, on the feasibility of implementing Zipline in Sri Lanka.

“Zipline is in conversation with the Ministry of Health, Civil Aviation Authority, the Ministry of Defence and the President’s office and all other stakeholders of the government on the possibility of implementing Zipline in Sri Lanka by 2020. In line with the local emergency protocols, Zipline will be monitored and tracked by the Ministry of Defence, and under the protocols of the government, if the government decided to proceed with the service,” added Yaniv Gelnik, Global Business Development Lead, Zipline.

India has taken the first steps to introduce life saving medical delivery drones in Maharashtra. The Government of Maharashtra has joined with Zipline, the world’s first and only national-scale drone delivery service, to use a logistics network of autonomous delivery drones to help transform emergency medicine and critical care in one of India’s most populous and dynamic states.

Through the lifesaving medical drone delivery service, the delivery of vaccines, blood and other lifesaving products can be arranged instantly when time is of essence. It will help ensure that millions of people in a disaster situation access the healthcare as soon as possible.

Zipline is already partnered with the governments of Ghana and Rwanda, where they are expected to help save tens of thousands of lives over the next several years. Zipline’s goal is to serve 700 million people in the next five years.

The company is hard at work catching up to demand to expand drone delivery services to developed and developing countries across Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Americas, including the United States.

Zipline is working with the U.S. state of North Carolina to launch its medical drone delivery as a part of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) UAS Integration Pilot Program (UASIPP) in 2019.