UPS Foundation invests in medical drone delivery system

The UPS Foundation is partnering with the African aid companies Zipline and Gavi to use drones for delivering medicine, vaccines and blood to medical centres in Rwanda and other regions across the world with remote and poor populations. The UPS Foundation has secured an $800,000 grant to use drones in Rwanda.

The public – private partnership uses logistics expertise, cold chain and healthcare delivery expertise from UPS with Zipline’s national drone delivery network, as well as Gavi’s experience in developing countries to save lives and protect health in the remoter areas of the world.

The Rwandan government is planning to start using Zipline drones that will make up to 150 deliveries a day of blood to 21 transfusing facilities in the western half of the country from later this year.

Drones will later be used to deliver vaccines, treatments for HIV ? AIDS, TB, malaria and other essential and lifesaving medicines.

The UPS Foundation president Eduardo Martinez said: “Public-private partnerships are the key to solving many of the world’s challenges, with each partner contributing its unique expertise.

“UPS is always exploring innovative ways to enhance humanitarian logistics to help save lives, and we’re proud to partner with Gavi and Zipline as we explore ways to extend the Rwandan government’s innovations at a global scale.”

Zipline CEO Keller Rinaudo said: “The inability to deliver life-saving medicines to the people who need them the most causes millions of preventable deaths each year. The work of this partnership will help solve that problem once and for all.”

According to the WHO, Africa has the highest rate in the world of maternal death due to postpartum haemorrhaging.