Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday launched an initiative to facilitate Covid-19 vaccine delivery to tough and hard-to-reach terrains of the Northeast through drones.
The ICMR’s Drone Response and Outreach in North East (i-Drone), a delivery model to make sure that life-saving COVID vaccines reach everyone, is in line with the government’s commitment to Antyodaya’ in health – making healthcare accessible to the last citizen of the country, officials said.
This is for the first time that a “Make in India’ drone has been used in South Asia to transport COVID-19 vaccine over an aerial distance of 15 km in 12-15 mins from the Bishnupur district hospital to Loktak lake, Karang island in Manipur for administration at the PHC.
“The actual road distance between these locations is 26 km. Today, 10 beneficiaries will receive the first dose and eight will receive the second dose at the PHC,” Mandaviya said.
India is home to geographical diversities and drones can be used to deliver essentials to the last mile, he said. “We can use drones in delivering important life-saving medicines, collecting blood samples. This technology can also be used in critical situations. This technology may prove a game-changer in addressing the challenges in health care delivery, particularly health supplies in difficult areas,” Mandaviya said.