Rwanda's advancements on the technological front have been dazzling, with that enviable touch of innovation. Ever since deliveries of health supplies through drones commenced in 2016, the stats have been phenomenal.
To date, over 10,000 health supply deliveries have been completed and this is such a huge feat. Medical drones were launched in October 2016, in partnership with Zipline Inc. Rwanda is the first country on the continent, and in the world to have such services in the health sector. Such monumental success easily makes Rwanda's healthcare system among the best in Africa.
Rwanda is pioneering the drone movement in Africa, proving that technology can save lives. With health supplies being delivered in remote parts in the country through medical drones, access to healthcare is vastly improved. Zipline Inc. have been of immense importance with the drone movement. Improving accessibility to blood and emergency medical supplies to remote parts of the country has been one of their top priorities.
Zipline Inc. is the world's first commercial drone delivery service. For mothers and children, delivering health supplies by drones has been very helpful.
“The reality is, moms die in every country in the world for (lack of blood). Rwanda was just the first country to do something about it," said Keller Rinaudo, the co-founder of Zipline.
This use of unmanned commercial drones to transport essential medical products is a milestone for Rwanda in many respects. Rwandans have learned to embrace innovation, especially when it is clear, that it can help us solve the challenges we face," Paul Kagame said.
“This attitude has enabled us to overcome great odds in the last twenty-two years, and makes us optimistic about how much more we can achieve, by working together with good partners.It starts with the right mindset, to get things working properly. ‘Good enough’ is no longer enough. We need to aim for the best,” Kagame noted.
Bizcommunity describe how the drone system works. "Basically, how it works is that Rwandan doctors place orders on-demand through a simple app for any medicine they need – from blood to drugs – and Zipline’s drone distribution centres, some conveniently located to medical warehouses; and a drone delivers the vital medication. The drones are programmed to fly to the destination, drop the package, which has a small parachute, turn around and fly back to the distribution centre – all in about 30 minutes. Whereas a similar delivery could take up to four hours by road in rural Rwanda. The incredible time saving helps maintain the cold-chain and product integrity, saving lives."
Rwanda is making some awesome technological moves and the rest of the continent ought to take some lessons from the East African country.
Header image credit: DW