In DRC, with funding from Gavi, VillageReach, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Civil Aviation of DRC, is leading the “Introducing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Vaccine Transport in the Democratic Republic of Congo – Phase 1: Permissions, Preliminary Design & Testing” project. In this project, we are exploring how unmanned aerial systems (UASs) can impact the availability of vaccines at the last mile. The Phase 1 of the project (12 months) aims to create an enabling environment for safe, effective use of UAS in DRC, and to define the use cases that maximize the efficacy and impact of this technology, identify appropriate drone platform and demo its capabilities in country, and determine the scope of future phases, which include a 12 months routine use of drone for vaccine and essential medicines delivery to the last mile. Specific objectives from our work in DRC include:

  • Put in place governance mechanisms for cross-agency collaboration and coordination in the context of exploring the use of UAVs for transporting health products
  • Map and reinforce the regulatory environment to enable the import and use of UAVs in DRC
    Identify best use cases to use UAVs for vaccine transport and develop system of integrating into the supply chain system
  • Select and demo an appropriate technology based on the prioritized use case
  • Develop a comprehensive testing and evaluation protocol to test the use UAVs for vaccine transport

 

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