Uganda has joined other African countries to use drones to deliver medical supplies to people. Medical experts are using cargo drones to tackle one of the worst provincial crises in Africa.
Uganda is not the only country in Africa doing this, as Ghana and Rwanda are also using drones to deliver life-saving medicines to over 22 million people. Drones have proved to be a faster and more reliable means to deliver medicines.
Lake Victoria is so big that it takes about 16 hours for a ferry to cross. With this, delivery of medicines by boat becomes a big task. Lake Victoria’s island which is home to nearly 67,000 people has an 18% HIV incidence rate. This rate is more than the national average rate of 5.6%.
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An antiretroviral drug can prevent HIV-positive patients from having AIDS which can cripple the immune system. The cargo drones have a wingspan that can transport a kilogram of these medicines to about 150 kilometers at once.
The Academy for Health Innovation Uganda developed these drones. The drones which cost about $5,500 each will deliver medicines to 78 community groups across the Ssese islands. The drones have been scheduled to have nearly 200 flights every month.
Using medical drones is a huge step for us as a health sector in improving service delivery especially in hard-to-reach areas. It’s very useful. Once it’s successful we can adopt it for other facilities and replicate it in other places.Uganda’s director general of health services