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Technological innovation | Drones vaccines and drugs for the treatment of 12 million people in Africa – Nec Otium


Of the four riders age consumes grim Africa – "famine, war, pestilence, and the beast of fire to erupt," he sang Serrat-, disease with & # 39 are the most life snatching year: Not in 2017, HIV is no longer a & # 39 is the leading cause of death on the continent, to the millions of victims to more than 700,000; however, respiratory diseases such as bronchitis or pneumonia, with 39 & # auparon is the first step.

The third cause of death in Africa was in 2017 gastric diseases associated with viruses or parasitesAccording to a report published last year, the organization Africa Check. The crisis, which has been accused in recent decades or omission directly overstating pharmaceutical imposed on the continent with the highest demand, but with fewer resources than Europe or North America. In the collective memory is the film "The Constant Gardener" (2005), based on the novel by John le Carré namesake title.

Fortunately, there have been significant changes in recent years: firstly, prevention and treatment of AIDS in Africa has led to a decrease in HIV-related deaths in the past decade, 30%; On the other hand, some companies such as Pfizer or Cipla has already begun Distribution of available treatments for diseases such as cancer. But much remains to be done, mainly because of the lack of infrastructure also allows you to reach all corners of Africa. Until now.

Drones to save lives

Idea launched the Government of Ghana aims to fill this gap. With Zipline, technology startup based in San Francisco, he announced the creation of a new drone fleet able to reach the most remote areas of the country for distribution of vaccines and medicines. "No one should die in Ghana for being unable to access the medication you need in case of an emergency," said the president of an African country, NASU Akufo Adda, as indicated in «The Guardian».

The service focuses on four distribution points strategically located around the countryFrom which drones fly in remote areas and come to the distribution of vaccines and drugs for more than 2,000 medical centers in GhanaWith the support of Ghana's Ministry of Health and GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) association. It is expected that every day is made about 600 flights, to cover 12 million people.

Seth Berkley, head of the international organization based in Geneva, believes that this system is applicable to other parts of Africa, which is currently "Geographically isolated from a distance, but also because they live in remote mountainous areas, in areas of dense forests or areas are inaccessible during the rainy season. Advantages of unmanned aircraft with & # 39 are, of course, which can increase the load on these obstacles and be able to make a delivery, but also has the advantage of coming just in time. "

This is the second network of its kind operated by an American company Zipline in Africa, after in October 2016 created the first fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles in Rwanda, in order to facilitate the distribution of blood in the country. Since then, he has performed more than 13,000 deliveries.

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