Vanuatu in trial for drones to carry vaccines to remote areas
In what’s believed to be a world-first, drones are to be trialed to carry vaccines to remote communities in the Pacific.
Unicef is working with the Vanuatu government on the groundbreaking project in the hope it will save lives.
“If it works it will be massive, it will be huge, it will be another step ensuring that all children get the vaccinations they have a right to and deserve,” Sheldon Yett, Unicef Pacific representative says.
1 News reports Unicef has already run successful drone trials in Malawi in Africa to transport HIV/Aids blood samples.
It plans to do the same thing with vaccines in the Pacific with trials starting in Vanuatu in June.
“It’s very important to go in a methodical method and do small trials, making sure that the vaccines can be delivered safely making sure the vaccines don’t get lost, making sure they stay cold,” says Mr Yett.
Some Pacific communities are inaccessible by road, and it’s not unusual for remote medical centres to run out of supplies with sometimes serious consequences.
In Vanuatu just over half of one-year-olds have been immunised for measles compared to an average of 90 per cent in the wider region.
“Sepsis is a huge thing in the Pacific setting whether it’s bacterial or whether it’s from malaria and all various vector borne diseases, so to send the drone out to take supplies to areas, I think will be fantastic,” says Dr. Alec Ekeroma.
Medical authorities believe that as long as drones don’t replace supply chains it could be a major boost for the Pacific. Continue reading about Vanuatu and drone delivery.
(Article Source: Loop)