Technology Inceptions: Tesla to Start Delivering Model 3 to China Buyers in March  |  Technology Inceptions: ISRO Working on Chandrayaan-2 Launch for Next Month  |  Parent Interventions: Parents can influence kids' musical tastes  |  Parent Interventions: Discipline strategies to tackle misbehaviour  |  Science Innovations: New properties of sulphur atom   |  Science Innovations: Psychiatric diseases linked to molecular set-up  |  Cover Story: NURTURE AGRI-BUSINESS  |  Cover Story: A friend in weed Floating farms on weed islands   |  Rajagiri Round Table: Cultivate New Tech Farm Beckons Gen Next  |  Parent Interventions: Stronger Self-Regulation In Childhood to Boost Resilience  |  Parent Interventions: Youth with good relationships stand up against bullying  |  Technology Inceptions: Volvo & Skanska’s Electric Site Reduces Carbon Emissions By 98%  |  Technology Inceptions: ISRO Launches GSAT-7A Military Communications Satellite on Board GSLV-F11 Rocket  |  Cover Story: WHEN FOOD COMES CALLING  |  Cover Story: Yours Online, Kudumbashree  |  
  • Pallikkutam Magazine
  • Companion Magazine
  • Mentor
  • Smart Board

December 19, 2018 Wednesday 12:08:38 PM IST
Drone Delivers Vaccines in Key Vanuatu Trial

A one-month-old on a remote island in the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu became the first child to be immunised in a commercial trial of drone-delivered vaccines, the UN children's fund UNICEF said Tuesday.

Aid agencies hope the successful run in the country, where one in five children is not fully immunised, could eventually help governments and organisations reach others in far-flung places around the world.

"Today's small flight by drone is a big leap for global health," UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said in a statement.

"With the world still struggling to immunise the hardest to reach children, drone technologies can be a game changer for bridging that last mile to reach every child."

While this is not the first time that drones have been used to deliver vaccines, it is the first time such a method has been deployed in Vanuatu, which has 83 islands, most only accessible by boat.

UNICEF said. that it isalso the first time a commercial contract is being used for routine immunizations.

A key requirement for the deliveries is maintaining the temperatures at which the vaccines are carried.

In warmer places such as Vanuatu, transportation across limited roads has its challenges.

In the trial, the drone travelled across almost 40 kilometres (25 miles) of rough and mountainous terrain from the west of the southern island of Err mango to its east, arriving at the remote Cook's Bay. The vaccines were kept in styrofoam boxes that carried ice-packs and a temperature sensor that would be triggered if it exceeded the required range. A total of 13 children and five pregnant women were vaccinated by a registered nurse, UNICEF added.

"As the journey is often long and difficult, I can only go there once a month to vaccinate children. But now, with these drones, we can hope to reach many more children in the remotest areas of the island," the nurse, Miriam Nampil, told UNICEF. The agency said Vanuatu's government was considering incorporating drone deliveries of vaccines into their national immunisation programme, and with the supply of other health aids.

Comments