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Vanuatu: Wingcopter delivers vaccines to 18 remote villages on demand

Josh Spires | 13 June, 2022 | The Sphere Drones Blog

Featured image for Vanuatu: Wingcopter delivers vaccines to 18 remote villages on demand

The remote island of Pentecost is one of 83 islands in the South Pacific that make up the nation of Vanuatu, the perfect area for drone deliveries with Wingcopter. The 60 km long island is made up predominantly of mountainous terrain covered in dense jungle.

Providing access to vaccines in the most remote communities involves nurses traveling from health centres, sometimes having to hike for several hours or days, or travel by boat around the island.

Even short distances can take long and costly hours in which the heat-sensitive medical supplies are exposed to the tropical heat and arduous travel conditions.

I personally used to hike for up to 8 hours through dense jungle to bring vaccines to remote healthcare centres on our island. Being able to send a drone completely changed my life and allowed me to concentrate on my actual work.

Dominique Head Nurse

Solution

In a pilot project, the Ministry of Health in Vanuatu collaborated with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to explore the use of drones as a quick, reliable and effective solution for the last-mile delivery of vaccines in such a challenging environment.

Wingcopter was selected to deliver actual vaccines on Pentecost Island over a period of nine weeks. In order to cover the vaccine supply of the entire island, it was necessary to fly from the main hospital to various locations all across the island.

Outcome

With a cruising speed of approximately 90 km/h, our Wingcopter drones transported a delivery to a location 40 km away in less than 30 minutes – reaching destinations that would have otherwise required 4WD car rides crossing rivers, several hours of hiking or boat trips around the island.

Source: Wingcopter

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