Flying pharmacy: Vaccines delivered by drones in Kisumu
Kisumu county on Monday, January 30, 2023, launched the first-ever drone delivery of medical supplies in Kenya.
The county partnered with robotics company Zipline, based in California, USA, to start the new project to transfer health supplements via drones.
"Today, I launched the first-ever drone delivery in Kenya ( Zipline instant logistics distribution system ).
This innovative technology is as a result of the good partnership relations between the larger Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) counties and Zipline in support of our universal health access efforts," Kisumu governor Anyang' Nyong'o wrote in part on Facebook.
Nyong'o said a drone was used on Monday to deliver vaccines to Migere Dispensary, Masogo Nyang'oma ward within a span of five minutes.
He hailed the drone service saying that it has helped reduce time wastage in health product supply via road and also reduced the delay in accessing life-saving interventions.
"This drone technology will reduce time wastage in health product supply via road and reduce the delay in accessing life-saving interventions just as we witnessed this afternoon a drone delivering vaccines at Migere Dispensary, Masogo Nyang'oma ward within a span of five minutes.
"Pregnant women and other sick persons will no longer have to be referred to other facilities solely because of non-availability of medicines and other health products especially those needed in emergency situations," Nyong'o said.
Today, I launched the first ever drone delivery in Kenya.
This drone technology will reduce time wastage in health product supply via road and reduce the delay in accessing life-saving interventions.@KenyaGovernors pic.twitter.com/c2PtfRNwFK— Gov. Anyang' Nyong'o (@AnyangNyongo) January 30, 2023
The Kisumu governor further added that health practitioners who require vaccines will just need to request them and they will be delivered in a few minutes.
"Health practitioners who require vaccines to protect children against fatal diseases in childhood will not be required to close the facility and take a motorcycle to pick up the vaccine. They just need to request them, and they are delivered in a few minutes. This is a giant step in our collective effort in improving healthcare delivery within the County," he added.
Zipline said when vaccines, blood or medication are running out, doctors can order new supplies by sending a text message. After receiving the order, drones will fly to the place of interest and drop the deliveries using parachutes.
Nyong'o further revealed that the drone delivery service will also be used to transport semen, which will help the county get rid of the logistical nightmare of physically transporting animals to Chemelil for the service.
"The livestock department is also lined up to experience and benefit from Zipline. We anticipate that through Zipline, the Kisumu Dairy Multiplication Centre will be able to transport semen and avoid the logistical nightmare of physically transporting animals to Chemelil for this service," Nyong'o said.
"I look forward to seeing the numbers and categories of patients that will likely have improved health outcomes because of this," he added.