Tanzania to start using drones to deliver blood


Tanzania will start using drones to start using drones to deliver blood and other medical supplies next year.

According to a report by the Citizen, the project which will launch off with at least ten drones will deliver blood to more than 100 health centres in Dodoma region in Central Tanzania.

The drones will be flying within a 75 kilometre radius from Dodoma main blood bank, at a maximum altitude of 150 metres way below the altitude airplanes fly. Each drone will have a capacity to carry up to 1 kg of medical supplies, medicine and blood, it is expected to take at least 19 minutes to make the deliveries as opposed to the current 2 hours.

80 percent of the 432 deaths in every 100,000 Tanzanian mothers is caused by the unavailability of blood in emergency situations.

Tanzania’s Ifakara Health Institute will be facilitating the speedy delivery of blood from Dodoma city to the rural health facilities to save women giving birth from dying due to blood loss. The programme has been funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID).

“There are plans to expand the project to cover the entire country. The project to be launched next year is just the beginning. There will be inter-regional blood delivery drones projects in the long run. Said IHI senior research scientist Zacharia Mtema

According to Dr. Mtema the project will be coordinated by ministries of health, Defence and National Service, Home Affairs and Works, Transport and Communications.