Three German organisations have successfully tested the use of a drone to deliver medical supplies in Tanzania’s remotest Island in the lake Victoria Ukwere Island.
German drone manufacturer Wingcopter, DHL and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH successfully tested the delivery of medicines using the autonomous DHL Parcelcopter 4.0.
The drone flew the 60 km flight from the mainland to the island in 40 minutes on average. A total of 2,200 km were flown and roughly 2,000 flight minutes recorded during the pilot project.
Medical care for the roughly 400,000 residents of the Ukerewe island district of Lake Victoria, for instance, is severely limited. This is partly due to the poor infrastructure and difficult terrain. Six hours are needed to cover the overland route of 240 km. That makes it nearly impossible to provide emergency medication or to quickly refill cool chain commodities that are out of stock.
A key feature is that the DHL Parcelcopter 4.0 barely needs any infrastructure as it takes off and lands vertically. After delivering its cargo, it can easily be loaded with blood and laboratory samples to take back to the mainland.
In future, the Parcelcopter could therefore not only improve logistics in the public health sector: it has the potential to help prevent crises worldwide, for example allowing an early response to slow the spread of viral diseases like Ebola.
GIZ) GmbH works on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It supports the German Government in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development.
Through its work its assists people and societies in shaping their own future and improving living conditions. Initial ideas for the Deliver Future project were generated in the GIZ lab of tomorrow. The project was implemented within the Improved Access to High-quality and Affordable Medicines in Africa and South-East Asia programme.
Wingcopter is an award-winning German manufacturer of innovative drones for logistics, surveying, monitoring and inspection. In order to achieve a new dimension of efficiency and close the market gap between commercial drones, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, the startup has specially developed and patented a unique tilting rotor mechanism. This combines the advantages of two drone types in one: The electrically powered Wingcopter drones can take off and land vertically like multicopters in a minimum of space.