• A flying start

    A flying start

    Drones are at it again. Above and beyond their general uses, they have proven highly efficient in wildlife surveillance in Kenya, while Nigeria has used them to monitor pipelines in a bid to curb crude oil theft. And now drones are being used to speedily deliver medical supplies to hard-to-reach villages in Ghana, thanks to Project Last Mile.

    According to an AFKInsider report, deliveries to rural Ghana would typically take up to two days. By drone, however, that time is cut down to just 30 minutes, and at the relatively negligible cost of around US$15 per flight. The programme has been delivering contraceptive pills, condoms and other medical supplies for several months, and sees 1.5 metre-wide drones (which are piloted remotely) carrying medical supplies from an urban warehouse to Ghanaian health workers in rural areas.

    Funded by the UN and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the initiative has piqued the interest of various African nations, and is about to be extended to Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.

    16 February 2016
    Image: Gallo/GettyImages