Photo: Zipline

Drones delivering medicine to post-genocide areas in Africa

In mountain villages in Rwanda, severe blood loss is often a death sentence. What do to improve care? Deliver blood with drones, responds the start-up Zipline to ex-employees of Google, SpaceX, and Lockheed Martin.

Zipline has been close to the capital Kigali into operation the first 15 drones. Once an emergency SMS, employees loaded the unmanned plane with relief supplies and send them via a catapult in the air. Then, get her an iPad, and control the drones with 100 km/h to the Notfallort. Even with rain and winds up to 30 km/h.

Blood donations sailing on the parachute to Earth

Over the target area, the drones drop the supplies from a height of 150 m with a parachute. The advantage: units of blood are in a few minutes on the Notfallort. Due to the poorly developed infrastructure and landslides during the rainy season, trucks often need several hours to reach remote places such as the mountain village in Kiruhura.

“Our technology has the potential to overcome barriers previously unattainable and thus to save many lives,” says Zipline CEO cellar Rinaudo. Currently the start-up supplies with every day 21 surrounding stations up to 150 blood.

Zipline plans to expand into other regions. Large parts of Rwanda would be the distance of drones (150 km) and multiple stations cover. Because the country is barely larger than Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania with an area of 26,000 km2. The Bill for the transport takes over the Health Office of Rwanda. According to the BBC, it pays about the same amount of money, a ground transportation costs the start-up.

Only one physician for 20,000 inhabitants

The medical care of Rwanda is disastrous. The country still suffers the consequences of the genocide of the Tutsis over 22 years ago. Thousands of doctors and nurses were among the victims of the genocide. Today, only a doctor available stands for 20,000 inhabitants. Many of the medical outpost are also chronically underserved. The biggest threats include diseases such as the flu, respiratory infections and severe blood loss.

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