‘Made in India’ drone used to transport COVID-19 vaccine

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya launched an initiative on October 4, 2021 to facilitate COVID-19 vaccine delivery using “made in India drones” in the tough & hard-to-reach terrains of Northeast.

Key Facts

  • For the purpose, ICMR has designed a delivery model called “Drone Response and Outreach in North East (i-Drone)”.
  • This delivery model has been designed to endure that life-saving COVID-19 vaccines reach everyone.
  • This initiative was launched in line with government’s commitment to “Antyodaya in health” that makes healthcare accessible to every citizens in India.

Significance of the initiative

This was the first time that a “Make in India’ drone has been used in South Asia for transporting COVID-19 vaccine for an aerial distance of 15 km. This distance was covered in 12-15 mins from Bishnupur district hospital to Loktak lake, Karang island in Manipur. Road distance between both the locations is 26 kms.

Use of drones

  • Drones can be used to deliver important life-saving medicines as well as for collecting blood samples.
  • It can also be used in critical situations in difficult terrains.
  • It will address the challenges in health care delivery, especially for delivery of health supplies in difficult areas.

Which states are running similar projects?

Currently, drone-based delivery projects are being run in Manipur & Nagaland as well as Andaman & Nicobar Islands to overcome the challenges by deploying Unmanned Aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones in remote areas.

Which institution transferred the drone technology?

ICMR conducted the initial study in association with “Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur” for testing the capacity of drones to transfer and carry vaccines safely. ICMR conducted the study in Manipur, Nagaland and Andaman & Nicobar.

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