Indian southern state of Telangana has announced a pilot programme for the delivery of MMR, influenza, and C-19 vaccines by drone to remote areas.
The initiative aims to improve equity in healthcare while enabling healthcare access for isolated populations and hazard-prone areas.
Designated air corridors
The trials, which have been organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in partnership with the state government of Telangana, Apollo Hospital’s HealthNet Global and NITI Aayog, will be conducted over 28 days in designated air corridors in the district of Vikarabad, Telangana.
The “Medicine from the Sky” trials are focused on laying the groundwork for a more elaborate drone delivery network that will improve access to vital healthcare supplies for remote and vulnerable communities. This is also the first drone programme since India recently liberalised its drone policy, WEF reports.
“Being at the forefront of leveraging emerging technologies, Telangana has always acted as a testbed for innovative solutions to support scaling across the nation,” said KT Rama Rao, minister of information technology, industries, municipal administration and urban development of Telangana.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted that healthcare supply chains can be further strengthened, and drones offer a robust value proposition especially when it comes to remote areas and emergencies.”
He continued: “The Medicine from the Sky is the first of its kind initiative in the country to generate insights that shall benefit the entire ecosystem. The enthusiasm and support by all the partners is deeply appreciated.”