Where We Work | Program
Drones for Health in Malawi
VillageReach has partnered with stakeholders at local, regional and global levels since 2015 to explore the use of drones to improve the availability of health products compared to ground transportation.
SolutionDrones for Health
TopicDrones for Health
Since 2016, VillageReach has been supporting the Ministry of Health of Malawi and its local partners such as UNICEF to test the feasibility and cost implications of using drones to transport lab samples, blood, vaccines and medicines to address maternal health emergencies and other diseases. In May 2021, VillageReach began working with Swoop Aero to integrate drones into the national health supply chain.
Our plan is to to expand drone flights in 105 + hard-to-reach health facilities in 20 health districts, covering the entire Southern and Northern regions of Malawi.
Each drone can travel up to 130 km carrying 3 kg (6.6 lb) /5212 cm3, averaging more than 100 km/hour.
In addition to routine monthly vaccine deliveries, drones are being used for on-demand deliveries and vaccination campaigns as well pick-ups of laboratory samples of many infectious diseases and health facility reports.
Drones for Health: Boosting Access to Lifesaving Products
Insights Before Flights: How Community Perceptions Can Make or Break Medical Drone Deliveries
Costing commodity delivery for obstetric emergencies in Malawi
Malawi Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Toolkit
Bi-directional drones to strengthen healthcare provision: experiences and lessons from Madagascar, Malawi and Senegal
Stakeholder Awareness and Perception Assessment as a Prerequisite in Drone Flight Tests
Costs Associated with the Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Transportation of Laboratory Samples in Malawi
Phase 2 Drone Program Results*
- Malawi Ministry of Health
- National & District Health Offices , and Health Facilities
- Department of Civil Aviation – leads the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Technical Working Group (TWG)
- Swoop Aero
- Community and traditional leaders
- Community members
- Crown Family Philanthropies
- Focusing Philanthropy
- UPS Foundation, UPS Healthcare