The first medical delivery flight didn’t quite go as planned as the drone assigned to deliver blood samples from Area 25 Health Centre to Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) offices in Lilongwe crashed on April 18, 2018 at Area 25B soon after taking off.
The test flight was being conducted by the Ministry of Health an Population in partnership with NGO VillageReach, MBTS, Pharmacy Medicines and Poisons Board and Vayu, Inc, the drone manufacturer.
Chief of Health Service in the Ministry of Health, Dr Charles Mwansambo, explained in a statement made available to Nyasa Times that the purpose of the study is to assess the use of drones to improve accessibility od medical supplies for meternal health emergiencies.
Mwansambo said the Ministry of Health is working closely witj all partners to assess the cause of the incident.
“No further test flights are scheduled for this study at this time,” Mwansambo said, stressing tjhta public safety is their primary concern.
He said prearranged safety protocols were operational and implemented effectively.
Mwansambo said the medical supplies carried by the drone at the time was “retrieved safely and in good condition” and it ess returned to MBTS.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) for Kanengo Police, Labani Makalani, said the drone which is a fixed quadcopter hybrid aircraft, was being operated by a US national identified as Julie Bateman, 29 of VillageReach, an organization which is implementing a pilot project aimed at ensuring quick delivery of blood samples between Area 25 Health Centre and MBTS offices in Lilongwe.
Makalani said the drone took off at 15:16pm from the Health Centre and crashed some four minutes later after it lost attitude when it was flying at about 60 metres above the ground.
The drone was recovered soon after the incident in a maize field.
The Police PRO said no one was injured during the incident.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :