The Nairobi Garage was delighted to host Zipline, the first and only company in the world that uses drones to save lives during our MEET event last Friday. In case you missed it, this should help loop you in on the amazing technology that is surrounding us.
What does Zipline do?
Save lives using drones? How you might ask? Well, Zipline is an American company that has specialized in the making and operating of drones to offer lifesaving medical products that are on demand. Zipline’s main aim is to deliver these products to areas that cannot access the products easily due to factors such as poor terrain. The products that the drones deliver range from blood products such as Plasma; Vaccines i.e. oxytocin; HIV & TB treatments; Vaccines to many others depending on the need for the commodity.
Zipline currently operates in one African country, Rwanda. Rwanda is actually the first country in the world to implement drone delivery services for healthcare. In March, Zipline is set to launch its 5th drone version in Rwanda. Zipline will be opening up 4 sites this year in Tanzania.
The speaker for the evening, Yaniv Gelnik, who is Zipline’s Africa Lead, said that the company has exactly three missions:
- Improve health in terms of enabling patients to receive quick solutions to their illnesses
- Reduce waste: The fact that a drone is being used to ship the products in a time frame of 12 minutes maximum, means there’s no room for the product to expire as opposed to the use of vehicles, bicycles etc.
- Transform logistic systems; Use of drones makes the product in demand reach the area of need quickly and in good condition.
Yaniv explained that in Rwanda, Zipline has been able to deliver products to half of the hospitals in Rwanda, 7 days a week, without fail. He explained that 50% of the blood transfusions benefit women who have undergone bleeding after birth. Impressive stuff!