Drone saves lives

In Rwanda drones deliver medical supplies, blood and vaccines.




Rwanda is a small country in East Africa with about than 13 million inhabitants.


The landlocked country is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, however, almost half of the population still lives in poverty.


Many people live in remote areas where there is no pharmacy or doctor. Medical supplies such as medicines, vaccines or even blood for blood transfers are difficult to reach these areas.


An engineering company now helps people in remote areas to get better health care. An American start-up company now makes this important task possible.


"I have been tinkering with robotics and other technologies since I was a little kid. I have always loved taking things apart, learning how it worked and then trying to make it do the things I wanted it to." (Keenan Wyrobek, product engineer and co-founder of Zipline)

A multinational team of engineers decided to build a drone that can deliver medicine to where it is most needed. Rwanda was where their plans were met with approval from the Rwandan government as well as the country's civil aviation authority.


“Rwanda was the first country".-. "They took the initiative to engage with us and work with us through the design process to figure out how to do this."

If a hospital or clinic in an area that is difficult to reach by car, the Zipline drone can delivery the medical supplies easily and much quicker than via road transport.


Doctors or healthcare workers just need to send a text message to the base station and the delivery will be despatched via drone quickly and effectively so the vital supplies are dropped off by the drone where the items are needed. Now it only takes 30 minutes from the time the order is placed to the delivery.


And the project has lifted off very well, as the drones already have successfully completed more than 12,000 deliveries in the last two years. In total, every week more than 40,000km/24,854 miles are flown, this covers about the same distance as when circumnavigating our planet!


In January 2019, the company expanded their project in Africa and the 29 million people in the West African country Ghana will soon benefit from this new technology too.


sources: DesignIndaba and Zipline

image: Zipline

Watch this fascinating intro video: Youtube


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