Drone firm in talks in Uganda on medical supply delivery deal
A drone service firm is in talks with the Ugandan government on a deal to deliver blood packages, drugs and medical equipment to public health facilities, an executive told Reuters on Friday.
A deal could see Uganda join a small number of other African countries, such as Ghana and Rwanda, that have deployed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to help public health logistics.
Uganda's public hospitals often face shortages of essential supplies, such as blood, drugs, syringes, gauze and gloves, sometimes due to unreliable transport through the gridlocked capital or along poorly paved or dirt roads in the countryside.
Most smaller public health facilities in Ugandan do not have proper facilities to store blood and supplies often need to be transported across long distances in an emergency. Ugandan media have in the past reported deaths due to delayed blood deliveries.
A similar service led by Zipline, a California-based robotics company, was launched in Ghana. Rwanda has been operating a similar service since 2016.