Emergency aerial delivery of blood and life saving medicines to mothers in rural Tanzania for less than $10: the Stork autonomous unmanned aerial delivery system.

Ifakara Health Institute
Organization Location: 
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Postpartum haemorrhage is the largest cause of maternal mortality in Tanzania, yet many of these women could be saved with a blood transfusion. Lack of fast, affordable delivery of blood profoundly restricts the number of lifesaving transfusions performed in the Dodoma region. We will use an autonomous Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) called Stork to transport screened and typed blood from a blood bank in Dodoma to peripheral health facilities, on-demand. In many cases, ground transport of blood would either be impossible or too costly using traditional means. Stork can already deliver over 1kg over 75km in less than 45 minutes at a cost of $10, outperforming all known alternatives. SLaB funding would bring the prototype system to Tanzania, integrating it fully with the public health system servicing up to 108 facilities and roughly 52,000 births annually that currently have severely limited access to blood and urgent medicines. Data from the first two years of operation will be the foundation for expansion of this cost-effective life saving approach to urgent medical delivery.

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