Vaccines: With the rapid advance of covid-19 around the world, the African continent has found a more efficient way to accelerate vaccination against the disease. Using drones, Zipline, a delivery startup specializing in medical supplies, has been distributing immunizers since the beginning of March in areas of difficult access in the region.
According to Keller Rinaudo, CEO of the startup, around 11,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have already been distributed in Ghana. The expectation is that in the next 12 months, 2 million vaccines will be sent. “In Africa, the challenges of reaching different parts of the continent are obvious. We can help healthcare systems to overcome infrastructure and supply chain challenges through instant delivery,” he says.
He also stresses the goal of helping rural areas that have been hit hard by the virus and the importance of ensuring that the right people get the vaccine. “Where you live should not determine whether or not you will receive the covid-19 vaccine,” he said in a statement.
According to the company, in addition to the work carried out during the pandemic, the drones have already flown more than 6 million kilometers and made more than 400,000 deliveries of medical supplies in the last five years.
The robots navigate by GPS, are powered by batteries and can fly up to 160 km in a round trip. The startup says that a single distribution center can operate dozens of drones and supply an area of up to 21 square kilometers.