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Startup To Use Drones to Deliver Medicines and Aid in Rwanda

by Fahad Saleem

Zipline, a Silicon Valley startup has announced that it will launch a drone service in Rwanda which will deliver medicines, supplies and blood to  far flung areas. This will be a collaborative effort between the company and the Rwandan government.

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 Zipline’s drone service will be launched in July. Rwanda is a small East African country. It is one of the poorest countries in the world where diseases like tuberculosis, HIV, malaria are rampant.

There are areas in Rwanda where there are no roads and infrastructure. Hundreds of NGOs and government orgniazations are unable to offer quick response services because of this problem. But Zipline will solve this issue .

Zipline will use Zip, a small, unmanned, robotic plane, which has a huge capacity to carry items like medicines, vaccines, supplies and even food.


A health care worker or patient will use the text messaging service offered by the startup and the government. Upon receiving the text, a Zip loaded with the necessary supplies will be launched. Zip travels at 100km/h. It can arrive faster than any other means of transportation.

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 Zip drops the required medicines in the area marked by the handlers. The drop accuracy is remarkable.

The startup has plans to scale these services across Africa and beyond after the initial success in Rwanda.

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