Tanzania has become the latest country to partner with Zipline as it has launched the world’s largest drone delivery service. The service will provide emergency on-demand access to critical and life-saving medicines.
This comes after Rwanda kicked-off its medical supplies delivery service by Zipline drones in October 2016. Subsequently, in January 2017, Tanzania announced that it will be partnering with Zipline to trial drone medicine deliveries.
"Every life is precious. The government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children has made great achievements in improving health services including the availability of medicines in all Public Health Facilities,” said Dr. Mpoki Ulisubisya, Permanent Secretary of the Tanzania Ministry of Health.
The Tanzanian government is expected to begin using drones to make up to 2,000 life-saving deliveries per day to over one thousand health facilities, serving 10 million people across the country.
"Our vision is to have a healthy society with improved social well being that will contribute effectively to personal and national development; working with Zipline will help make that vision a reality,” added Dr. Ulisubisya.
Since the October 2016 launch in Rwanda, Zipline reports that it has already flown more than 100,000 km in the East Afrikan country, delivering 2,600 units of blood over 1,400 flights.
“We strive to ensure that all 5,640 public health facilities have all the essential medicines, medical supplies and laboratory reagents they need, wherever they are—even in the most the hard to reach areas,” said Laurean Bwanakunu, Director General of Tanzania's Medical Stores Department.
“But that mission can be a challenge during emergencies, times of unexpected demand, bad weather, or for small but critical orders. Using drones for just-in-time deliveries will allow us to provide health facilities with complete access to vital medical products no matter the circumstance,” concluded Bwanakunu.