Tanzania has partnered with Zipline International Inc. to launch the world’s largest drone delivery network in January, with drones transporting blood and medicines out of the skies to save the lives of women giving birth and children struck by malaria.
California’s Zipline will make 2,000 deliveries a day to more than 1,000 health facilities across the east African country, including blood, vaccines and malaria and AIDS drugs, following the success of a smaller project in nearby Rwanda.
Malaria is a major killer in Tanzania and children under the age of five often need blood transfusions when they develop malaria-induced anaemia. If supplies are out of stock, as is often the case with rare blood types, they can die.
Tanzania is larger than Nigeria and four times the size of the United Kingdom, making it hard for the cash-strapped government to ensure all of its 5,000-plus clinics are fully stocked, particularly in remote rural areas.