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Tag: Swoop Aero

Drones to deliver vaccines to remote Vanuatu in world-first commercial contracts

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

Drone vaccine delivery in Vanuatu ‘could be game-changer’

The founder of the drone company contracted to trial vaccine delivery in Vanuatu says the move could be a game-changer for healthcare in the region.

Unicef last week announced two companies would take part in a trial, intended as a way to safely and quickly deliver vaccines to remote villages where health workers sometimes have to walk days.

One of the companies is Melbourne-based Swoop Aero, which will use its two-metre refrigeration drones to deliver vaccines up to 100 kilometres in less than an hour.

Read More: Radio NZ

Vanuatu awards international drone companies with commercial contracts for vaccine delivery

In a global first, the Vanuatu Government has awarded two international drone companies, Swoop Aero and Wingcopter, with commercial contracts to trial the use of drones to bring lifesaving vaccines to children living in remote rural islands.

“Ensuring vital supplies at health facilities are consistently available is an ongoing challenge for Vanuatu due to geography, logistics and high costs. An important step for dealing with some of these challenges to providing healthcare to vulnerable communities is looking at innovative ways such as the use of drones,” said Director General of the Ministry of Health in Vanuatu, George Taleo.

The first phase of the drone trials will take place during the week of 3-7 December when these two drone companies will test the viability of delivering vaccines to inaccessible areas.

Read More: SUAS News