DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA Thursday, August 24th—Today, Tanzania announced that it is launching the world’s largest drone delivery service to provide emergency on-demand access to critical and life-saving medicines. Beginning in the first quarter of 2018, the Tanzanian government will 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.
“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. “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.”
“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.”
The drones and delivery service are built and operated by Zipline, a California-based automated logistics company. In October of 2016, Zipline and the Government of Rwanda launched the world’s first national drone delivery service to make on-demand emergency blood deliveries to transfusion clinics across the country. Since the October launch, Zipline has flown more than 100,000 km in Rwanda, delivering 2,600 units of blood over 1,400 flights.
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