Government has given a nod to a Ugandan-German innovator John Goslin to start supplying blood to public hospitals in Kampala using drones starting March 2020.
Goslino’s 'Blood Connect' project secured government approval through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. Although he didn’t mention the exact amounts, Goslino confirmed that his company, Flexdrone has already received funding for the project.
Goslino says he came up with an idea of delivering medical supplies by drone after realizing that people, especially in hard-to-reach areas, encounter challenges which lead to loss of life when they can’t access supplies like blood or have their samples tested early enough for prompt medical intervention.
He says the Uganda Blood and Transfusion Services (UBTS) has agreed to use the app that they are finalizing to help them establish blood the needs of different facilities. Goslino was speaking at an exhibition for private health care innovators and providers in Kampala yesterday.
Apart from delivering light packages of at least six kilograms within small distances, Goslino with his team at Flexdrone have already tested whether their innovation can cover bigger distances through getting medical samples from Kasese to the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe.
He says while he is starting with Kampala for the blood samples, the plan is to deliver packages to hard to reach areas since they are the most challenged. With their drones, he says, a medical sample can be delivered to a distance of more than 100 kilometres, in just an hour. He says the plan is to have vaccines and sundries like gloves delivered easily. Rwanda and Ghana are some of the African countries already using drones for medical supplies.