In recent times, drone delivery has become a global phenomenon. However, in countries like Rwanda, these drones not only deliver goods, they save lives. The drones owned by Zipline, serve as a lifeline for Rwandans who require blood in some of the most remote areas of the country; areas where bad roads hamper the on-time delivery of medical products during emergencies.
Even though Zipline launched its operations in Rwanda barely two years ago, its drone-delivery has recorded remarkable success and impacted thousands of lives. The drones have completed more than 1,400 deliveries across 12 regional hospitals in the countryside of Rwanda. In addition, the drones have also totted up more than 5,500 units of blood deliveries to patients in dire need of blood transfusion.
The California-based startup which was founded by a team of technology enthusiasts (Keenan Wyrobek, Keller Rinaudo, Peter Seid, Phu Nguyen, and William Hetzler) at the Silicon Valley in the US has its base in Muhanga. The town is located around the Southern province of Rwanda, approximately 45 km from Kigali the country’s capital. So far, Zipline’s success since it launched in Kenya could place East Africa at the forefront of an evolution.
“Some of the biggest, most powerful technology companies in the world are still trying to figure out how to do this. But East Africa is showing them all the way. “The work in Rwanda has shown the world what’s possible when you make a national commitment to expand healthcare access with drones and help save lives,” Keller Rinaudo, Zipline CEO and Co-founder explained in an interview in January 2018.