Drones are delivering healthcare to patients in rural Nepal
Drones are increasingly being used to deliver essential medicines and laboratory samples to and from areas of Nepal. The new technology represents progress in the delivery of medicine and a reduced dependence on road and transport networks.
This would be particularly beneficial for rural populations, like those in Nepal.
In recent years rural health services in Nepal have experienced increased pressure and have struggled to reliably provide medicines year-round.
Health facilities in rural Nepal are often poorly equipped and medicine distribution is slow, due to production limitations, transport issues and road disruptions.
Drones have the power to alleviate suffering as they can deliver medicines more quickly, currently many patients’ illnesses are prolonged due to difficulty in accessing healthcare.
The drone project in Nepal is being run by National Innovation Centre, a not-for-profit, who are challenging the business as usual approach to healthcare in Nepal.
Initially, the drones will travel a periphery of 15km with those set up for longer range flights traveling up to 45km. The autonomous drones are expected to improve the process of medicine delivery, as well as transporting samples to and from patients.
The National Innovation Centre is well recognised in Nepal for bring socio-economic change through technology, previously the centre introduced wireless technology to rural areas.
Internet and broadband networks in rural areas have since enabled services such as e-learning, online money transfers, m-health consultations and community engagement.
Drones are also being tested in the fight against insect borne diseases such as malaria, zika virus and dengue fever.
The use of technology and innovation in development is key to ensuring its success and new technologies such as drones and blockchain are expected to significantly transform aid and development practices.
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