A one-month-old baby from the Pacific island of Vanuatu became the first person to get vaccine delivered on A drone flew for 40 kms to take the medicine to the baby in Cook's Bay that which is remotely accessible by foot. Locals generally use boats for travelling. The vaccine that was sent through the drone vaccinated thirteen children and five pregnant women.
This is the first time a government took the help of commercial drone company to transport vaccines to remote areas which lack basic healthcare system. Vanuatu's government is now looking into ways to increase the use of drones to help medication reach their people on time. They are planning to integrate drone delivery into its national immunization program and make wider use of the technology. Drones Can Fly in India! Digital Sky Platform Launched For Registration of Drones, Know Details Here.
In Vanuatu, due to its warm climate, vaccines are difficult to be transported as it has to be maintained at specific temperatures. Limited road access across its 80 islands is another issued in the country. Due to these lack of facilities, one in five children in Vanuatu misses out on necessary childhood vaccinations.
Once the drone landed, a nurse vaccinated the children and woman against polio, TB, hepatitis B, measles and rubella. Australia-made drone called Swoop Aero delivered the vaccine with the support of the UNICEF. The agency said that innovation is a potential 'game changer' in child health. Tea Delivery at Your Doorstep Via Drones in Lucknow.
The charity's executive director Henrietta Fore said, "Today's small flight by drone is a big leap for global health. With the world still struggling to immunise the hardest to reach children, drone technologies can be a game changer for bridging that last mile to reach every child. This is innovation at its best and shows how we can unlock the potential of the private sector for the greater good of the world's children."
Miriam Nampil, the nurse who injected the world’s first drone-delivered vaccine said, "It's extremely hard to carry ice boxes to keep the vaccines cool while walking across rivers, mountains, through the rain, across rocky ledges. I’ve relied on boats, which often get cancelled due to bad weather. As the journey is often long and difficult, I can only go there once a month to vaccinate children. But now, with these drones, we can hope to reach many more children in the remotest areas of the island."
It took off from the island of Erromango to Dillon's Bay on the west of Vanuatu. Locals travelled several kilometres to see the drone land. The drone was welcome with cultural welcoming dances. The vaccine was carried in Styrofoam boxes which had ice packs and a temperature logger. An electronic indicator would alert if the temperature was not in the acceptable range. The drone operators get paid only if the vaccines are delivered.