Where We Work  |  Program

Drones for Health in Mozambique

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.

Apr 21, 2022   |   Press Release

Drones Accelerate Diagnosis of COVID-19 in Mozambique

Maputo, Mozambique (April 21, 2022) – Today the National Health Institute (INS), the Health Sector of Inhambane, VillageReach and Swoop Aero, started the second phase of the study for the use of drones to transport laboratory samples for infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, tuberculosis,...

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Mar 25, 2021   |   Blog Post

Drones for Health Deliver: Fundraising Campaign with Focusing Philanthropy Takes Flight

Today, VillageReach and Focusing Philanthropy launched a campaign to raise $2 million. The Drones for Health Deliver campaign aims to increase equitable access to health products and diagnostics for 700,000 people in hard-to-reach areas in Malawi and Mozambique via drone technology.

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Jun 25, 2019   |   Blog Post

Drones for Health — Exchanging ideas to advance this frontier technology

Originally posted on Medium.com Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are an emerging technology that hold a lot of promise to improve access to health care for the most underserved populations in hard-to-reach areas. Additionally, it can provide time savings in critical situations in...

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In 2018, VillageReach began working with the Government of Mozambique to explore how drones could strengthen laboratory sample transportation systems in hard-to-reach areas. The Mozambique National Institute of Health and VillageReach are partnering with the Inhambane Provincial Department of Health to accelerate COVID-19 laboratory testing in Mozambique. Six hard-to-reach district hospitals and health facilities receive daily collection of laboratory samples via two drone hubs in Inhambane Province.

People inspecting drone in field.

Drone tests in Maputo, Mozambique. (Photo Credit: Alvo Ofumane)

How It Works

  • Every day, drones collect COVID-19 and other laboratory samples from six hard-to-reach district hospitals and health facilities in Inhambane province.
  • Each drone can travel up to 130 km carrying 3 kg (6.6 lb) /5212 cm3, averaging more than 100 km/hour.
  • Laboratory samples are delivered to sample collection points, where they are transported by ground to the laboratory for testing.


Presentation  |  2023

Drones for Health: Speeding up Lab Sample Transport – ASLM Conference (Dec 2023)

Report  |  2023

Optimizing Specimen Referral in Mozambique with Drones

Research  |  2022

Quality Analysis of Tuberculosis Specimens Transported by Drones versus Ground Transportation

Fact Sheet  |  2020

Drones for Health: Boosting Access to Lifesaving Products

Research  |  2020

Insights Before Flights: How Community Perceptions Can Make or Break Medical Drone Deliveries

Fact Sheet  |  2020

How to select a drone service provider

Report  |  2018

UAVs for Laboratory Sample Transport in Mozambique: Pilot Story

Program Impact

Phase 2 Drone Program Results*

*from 30 Dec 2020 – 31 May 2022



  • Mozambique Instituto Nacional de Saúde
  • Inhambane Provincial Department of Health
  • Mozambique Ministry of Health
  • Mozambique Civil Aviation Authority
  • Amovant

Technical Partners

  • Swoop Aero


  • Focusing Philanthropy
  • UK Aid
  • Frontier Technology Livestreaming

Previous Partners


  • None

Technical Partners

  • None


  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Related Global Impact

See the latest updates from our work to improve access to quality healthcare in the world’s most underserved communities.

Drones for Health in Malawi

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UAV Supply Chain Modeling

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UAV Sample Transport

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Drones for Health in the DRC

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