Drones are sometimes deadly weapons, but in Ghana, they are used to save lives. Around 120 unmanned aircraft will fly around the African country this week to provide health centers with vaccines and medicines. Drones have never been used for medical purposes on such a large scale.
The drones will supply 2000 clinics from four distribution centers. For example, they provide blood, rabies vaccines or antidote to treat snake bites. Doctors can place orders with a text message. In most cases, a drone can then be on site within half an hour with the necessary resources.
The flying machines can travel 110 kilometers per hour, a speed that is not nearly attainable by road in this difficult country. Loads are dropped with a small parachute. “No one in Ghana is allowed to die because a necessary drug is not available in an emergency,” said President Nana Akufo-Addo today at the start of the project, which was set up with the help of the GAVI vaccination organization and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.