Vanuatu first Pacific country to use drones to deliver vaccines, medicine
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 15, 2017) – Vanuatu will be the first country in the Pacific to begin using drones to deliver vaccines and critical medical supplies to its remote areas.
The inability to deliver needed vaccines from town to children at remote locations due to the lack of adequate transportation and poor infrastructure makes the government turn to drones for service delivery.
These are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS) that are designed to deliver vaccines via pre-programmed missions.
While drones will be flown remotely, distributing health products, many people in Vanuatu have never seen one before. The need to educate the rural community on the use of drones was highlighted during the launch of the national piloted aerial system at the Parliament House in Port Vila yesterday.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (MIPU) will be implementing the initiative with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
MIPU, through the Civil Aviation Authority Vanuatu (CAAV) is applauded for ensuring the drone trial is carried out in the nation’s airspace.
Minister of Health, Jerome Ludvaune, mentioned the need to amend regulations governing the use of UAVs in Vanuatu.
The drone trial is scheduled to begin in August this year (2017) at Takara in north Efate.