First time in South Asia, a ‘Made in India’ drone used to transport COVID-19 vaccine, says Health Minister
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya today launched ICMR’s Drone Response and Outreach in North East (i-Drone) with a view to ensure last-mile delivery of vaccines.
This is a delivery model to make sure that life-saving vaccines reach everyone.
Launching the initiative, Mr Mandaviya said that this is for the first time that a “Make in India’ drone has been used in South Asia to transport COVID vaccine over an aerial distance of 15 kilometers in 12 to 15 minutes from the Bishnupur district hospital to Loktak lake, Karang island in Manipur for administration at the Primary Health Centre.
He said, India is a home to geographical diversities and drones can be used to deliver essentials to the last mile.
The Health Minister said this technology can prove a game changer in addressing the challenges in health care delivery, particularly health supplies in difficult areas.
He said, the immunization program for COVID-19 have already exceeded all expectations and hoped that the initiative will further help the government achieve the highest possible immunization coverage for COVID-19.
Mr Mandaviya added that incorporating such drone technologies into the national programs would help deliver other vaccines and medical supplies as quickly as possible.Despite the effective and safe vaccine administration in the States and Union Territories, the vaccine delivery among tough and hard-to-reach terrains of India is still challenging.
He said, this i-Drone has been designed to overcome these challenges by deploying Unmanned Aerial vehicles or drones to remote areas and hard to reach terrains.
He further said that currently, the drone based delivery project has been granted permission for implementation in Manipur and Nagaland, as well as union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Island.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr. Balram Bhargava were also present on the occasion.
Drone Power of India 🛸
On October 2, India became the first country to spray Nano Urea through Drone in Bhavnagar, Gujarat.
On October 4, India transported vaccines across 31 km in Manipur, reaching the remote & hilly regions conveniently. pic.twitter.com/dBXS7Lt3rJ
— Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) October 4, 2021