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It is known as the last-mile problem, and East Africa is solving it: the extreme difficulty in delivering life-saving health products from the city to rural locations as a result of inadequate infrastructure, communication and transportation. It is a problem the world over, but particularly serious in the developing world. It is, of course, an acute problem during emergencies or catastrophes caused by nature, war or civil strife.
East Africa is leading the world in pursuing innovative solutions to the problem. By jumping platforms in a rapidly evolving technology, Rwanda and Tanzania have secured the services of California-based robotics company Zipline to provide the world’s first drone medical delivery services. They do so with breathtaking efficiency, saving many lives.
Rwanda, an innovator of note, pioneered this approach. Whereas an ambulance takes four hours to deliver blood to a remote area, a drone gets it done in 15 to 45 minutes. Rwanda’s drone port, in the Shyogwe sector,...
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