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Gates Foundation bankrolls WeRobotics to assist WHO’s “better understanding of medical drone delivery”

By Chris Stonor

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is bankrolling WeRobotics to improve the World Health Organization’s (WHO) understanding and use of drone delivery, reports This far-reaching project is being co-ordinated by WHO’s African Regional Office (AFRO).

Presently, the primary area where WeRobotics deploys continuous drone deliveries is in Ghana with Zipline, WHO Ghana and Ghana Flying Labs, alongside Madagascar with Aerial Metric, WHO Madagascar, and Madagascar Flying Labs. The company has recently completed a major delivery project in Northern Ghana with Zipline and will soon begin deliveries in Northern Madagascar in partnership with Aerial Metric.

Previous UAMN article on WeRobotics:

The purpose of this project is to improve WHO’s operational understanding of drone delivery services to transport medical patient samples. This includes gaining a better understanding of the workflows, technical and regulatory requirements, costs, and time-savings from using existing drone delivery systems such as Zipline’s in Ghana and Aerial Metric’s in Madagascar.

While the project serves as a comparative analysis of drone delivery in both countries, its purpose is not to suggest that one system is better than the other. Instead, the aim is to build WHO’s internal understanding of drone delivery services to make the most of the various systems and models that already exist.

WeRobotics aims to share these insights later in the year, along with the design of an operational study, once all the drone deliveries are complete and the data analysed.

Meanwhile, the company will also begin the next phase of this multi-year project with WHO/AFRO and the Gates Foundation. More details on these projects is expected to be shared towards the second half of 2021 once in operation.

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