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World’s largest drone delivery service, Zipline, has partnered with the government of Tanzania to launch emergency on-demand drone delivery of critical and life-saving medicines. The service will go live in the Q1 of 2018, with the Tanzania’s Capital, Dodoma, being the first city Zipline will roll out its service. 

The Tanzania government says Zipline drone delivery will make up to 2,000 life-saving aerial medicine deliveries per day to over a thousand health facilities. The service will see over 10 million patients get critical and life-saving drugs delivered to them in time. 

The Tanzanian PS of Ministry of Health said, “Every life is precious. Our vision is to have a healthy society with improved social well-being that will contribute effectively to personal and national development; working with Zipline will help make that vision a reality.” 

Zipline drone delivery service has been operational in Rwanda since October 2016. In Rwanda, Zipline has covered over 100,000 km (62,137 miles) in over 1,400 flights and delivered 2,600 blood transfusion units. Thanks to the success it registered in Rwanda, Tanzania was more compelled to employ its services to provide critical medical supply urgently. 

In Tanzania, Zipline base of operations will be located in Dodoma, Mbeya, Lake Victoria and near Mwanza. These four base stations will have 30 drones and a target of making up to 500 supplies per day across some 5,640 public health centers in the region. Some of the medical supplies that will be going airborne include; blood transfusion supplies, anti-malarial drugs, emergency vaccines, HIV meds, sutures, and IV tubes among other critical med supplies. 

The maximum payload weight a drone can carry on a single trip is 1.5 Kgs (3.3 pounds) traveling at maximum speeds of 110 kph (68.35 mph). Each drone will have a round trip range of 160 km (99.42 miles). Health workers can place orders for drone delivery via SMS messages and Zipline says it will make the delivery within an average of 30 minutes. 

Zipline CEO, Keller Rinaudo said, “Millions of people across the world die each year because they can’t get the medicine they need when they need it. It’s a problem in both developed and developing countries. But it’s a problem we can help solve with on-demand drone delivery. And African nations are showing the world how it’s done.” 

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