Zipline Rwanda – a robotics firm operating unmanned aircraft-drones that deliver blood to local hospitals, has set new targets to quadruple blood supply destinations in remote hospitals and health centers in Rwanda.
Zipline has set new targets from supplying 25 remote hospitals and health centers to 100 before the end of this year, its officials said.
Israel Bimpe, the National Implementation Program Manager at Zipline told KT Press that: “Zipline’s main drone port supplies 35 packets of blood to over 18 hospitals and health centers in Southern and Western Province based districts every day.”
According to Bimpe, Kayonza, the second drone port in the country’s Eastern Province, supplies 20-25 packets of blood in hospitals and health centers in the Province.
“But, we are targeting to increase destinations of supplying hospitals to 100 before the end of this year. We are working with the aviation authority to increase the number of hospitals that need this service,” Bimpe told KT Press.
“We are increasing the system capabilities in general, though I can’t announce the number of drones to be used, there is enough capabilities,” Bimpe added.
Since last year, Zipline improved the deportment capacity of drones, with the first generation drone having the capacity of 1.5 kgs and can fly over a distance of 20 kilometers.
The second and third generation drones have a capacity to fly over 160 kilometers and can carry 1.7 kgs and 2kgs respectively.
“Available drones have the capacity to reach and serve the 100 hospitals and health centers, which is our targets,” Bimpe told KT Press.
These drones have the capacity to cover 100 kilometers per hour.
Rwandan government and Zipline entered a deal in February 2016, to build first drone port in Shyogwe Sector, Muhanga District – Southern Province in a bid to improve accessibility to blood and emergency medical supplies to remote parts of the country.
On top of blood delivery, on October 24, 2018, the Cabinet Meeting approved an agreement between the Government of Rwanda and Zipline for the delivery of medical products via drones.
Since its inception, Zipline has so far made 16000 flights using drones to supply blood and medication to various hospitals and health centers in the country.
Last year Zipline, was awarded global accolade as the “Uber for Blood” service provider country because of its provision of blood to remote hospitals using drones.