By Yara Murray-Atfield

An Australian company is one of two to be awarded the world’s first-ever commercial contracts to deliver life-saving vaccines to vulnerable children in remote areas by drone.

The Vanuatu Government awarded the contracts to Melbourne-based Swoop Aero and German Wingcopter Holding, who outbid 18 other drone companies from around the world.

Vanuatu has more than 80 islands spread over some 1,600 kilometres, and only around one third of the inhabited islands have established roads and air landing strips.

The country has an infant mortality rate of 23 deaths per 1,000 births — significantly higher than developed Western nations like Australia where infant mortality rates sit just under four deaths per 1,000 births.

Read More: ABC News