Drone-based blood deliveries in Tanzania to be funded by UK

Blood transfusion and donations will now take advantage of modern technologies in Tanzania, Africa.

The scheme is similar to a service that a Silicon Valley start-up began running in Rwanda in October.

The UK government has funded a trial of drone-based deliveries of blood and other medical supplies in a bid to radically reduce the amount of time it takes to send stock to health clinics in the African nation by road or other means.

It has long often been a long and tedious journey to transport blood in third world countries and this modern technique is an innovative way to combat such issues.

The Department for International Development (DFID) has not said how much money will be invested in the Tanzanian effort or for how long, but it has announced plans to fund tests of drones in Nepal to map areas of the country prone to damage from extreme weather, so help prepare for future crises.

“This innovative, modern approach ensures we are achieving the best results for the world’s poorest people and delivering value for money for British taxpayers,” commented the International Development Secretary Priti Patel.
DFID estimates that flying blood and medical supplies by drone from out of Tanzania’s capital, Dodoma, could save $58,000 (£47,400) a year compared to sending them by car or motorcycle.

But a spokeswoman suggested that the time savings were more crucial.

“Flights are planned to start in early 2017, and when they do it is estimated that [the] UAVs could support over 50,000 births a year, cutting down the time mothers and new-borns would have to wait for life-saving medicine to 19 minutes – reduced from the 110 minutes traditional transport methods would take,” she explained.

The use of drones is now able to make the transition to benefit humanitarian bodies and aid relief. Increasing accessibility of blood supplies especially in Africa is a fantastic use of this emerging technologies.

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