Long range delivery of medicines by drone has been tested successfully in Africa. Over a six month period, DHL, working with the German Ministry for Economic Co-operation and drone manufacturer Wingcopter, delivered medicines to an island in Lake Victoria, completing the 60km flight in an average 40 minutes.
A total of 2,200km were flown in 2,000 flight minutes by the DHL Parcelcopter 4.0 in the Deliver Future project. Organisers say drones could be used to address logistic health challenges, like providing emergency medication or refilling cool chain commodities, in many parts of Africa.
For example, the poor infrastructure and difficult terrain of the Ukerewe island district means medical care for its 400,000 residents is severely limited, with the overland route taking up to six hours.