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“Drone Delivery of Medicine; a possible life saving technology in disaster management for Sri Lankan context’’ ‘Technology already embraced by India’

“Drone Delivery of Medicine; a possible life saving technology in disaster management for  Sri Lankan context’’ ‘Technology already embraced by India’
October 04
14:52 2019

(UTV|COLOMBO) –  Access to vital health products, in Sri Lanka and around the
world, is hampered by the last mile problem: the difficulty of matching the supply of medicine from
central storage to the demand at urban and rural health facilities All too often, people requiring
lifesaving care do not get the medicine they need when they need it. This has been an imminent
issue in Sri Lanka in the recent past with the annual flooding, land slides and many unfortunate
catastrophes.

“The need to accelerate the supply chain management vis a vis the traditional vehicles has been
identified many healthcare professionals despite Sri Lanka having one of the best health care
systems in the region, there is the need to incorporate faster access to critical healthcare for all the
citizens as and when they need it, this is essential during crisis situations where inventories that
are available in hospitals are insufficient or unavailable” stated Dr.Naveen Udawella, discussing
the feasibility of implementing Zipline in Sri Lanka.

“At this juncture Zipline is in conversation with Sri Lanka Ministry of Health, Civil Aviation Authority
and Ministry of Defense and the President’s office and all other stakeholders of government of Sri
Lanka on the possibility of implementing Zipline in Sri Lanka by 2020. In line with the local
emergency protocols, Zipline will be fully monitored and tracked by the Ministry of Defense, and
under the protocols of the government, if the local government decided to proceed with the
service,” added Yaniv Gelnik, Global Business Development Lead, Zipline.

Under such context, India has taken first steps to introduce life saving medical delivery drones in
Maharashtra. The Government of Maharashtra has joined with Zipline, the world’s first and only
national-scale drone delivery service, to use a logistics network of autonomous delivery drones to
help transform emergency medicine and critical care in one of India’s most populous and dynamic
states.

The revolutionary new service, which is expected to launch operations in early 2020, showcases to
the other nations of the region including Sri Lanka the's bold vision of the Government of
Maharashtra in using drone delivery to establish universal, seven-days-a-week access to lifesaving
and critical medicines for each of its 120 million citizens over the coming years. Zipline drones will
make on-demand and emergency deliveries of blood products, vaccines and life-saving
medications. As such, the Government of Maharashtra's vision is for Zipline to establish a total of
10 Distribution centres across Maharashtra in phases over the next several years.To increase

access and reduce medical waste, key stock of blood products, vaccines and life-saving
medications will be stored at Zipline’s distribution centers for just-in-time delivery. Health workers
will place orders by text message or call and promptly receive their deliveries in 30 minutes on
average.

Through the lifesaving medical drone delivery service the delivery of vaccines, blood and other
lifesaving products can be arranged instantly when time is of essence. It will help ensure that
millions of people in a disaster situation to access the healthcare as soon as possible.

In the Global context, in addition to Maharashtra, India, Zipline is already partnered with the
governments of Ghana and Rwanda, where they are are expected to help save tens of thousands
of lives over the next several years. Zipline’s goal is to serve 700 million people in the next five
years. The company is hard at work catching up to demand to expand drone delivery services to
developed and developing countries across Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Americas,
including the United States. Zipline is working with the U.S. state of North Carolina to launch its
medical drone delivery as a part of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) UAS
Integration Pilot Program (UASIPP) in 2019.

 

 

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