Today’s Solutions: November 26, 2021

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 2 billion people around the world have no timely access to basic medicines, such as life-saving vaccines, leading to a staggering number of preventable deaths each year. In an attempt to tackle this global health challenge, Zipline, a California-based robotics company, has designed a fixed-wing drone to deliver medical essentials to health facilities in African countries where the problem is believed to be most prominent. The company first introduced their drones in Rwanda in 2016, where they have since made 13,000 deliveries – a third of which were to patients in a critical condition, when urgent access to supplies was a matter of life and death. Now, 12 million people in Ghana are set to benefit from the launch of a similar project. Up to 600 drone flights will be made each day, delivering vaccines, blood supplies, and life-saving medicines to 2,000 health centers in remote areas around the West-African country. A health center can request supplies via text message, with packaging and delivery taking an average of 30 minutes. Following the opening of a second Rwanda distribution center in 2018 and expansion into Ghana, the drone technology now serves 22 million people across the two countries.

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