Medical delivery drones as a tool to improve health equity in Sub-Saharan Africa

Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, are autonomous or remotely piloted aircraft without onboard pilots or passengers. Drone technology is highly versatile and is currently used within the humanitarian field for purposes such as urban planning, mapping, disaster relief, environmental monitoring, and cargo delivery. Inaccessibility to healthcare and systemic health inequities continue to adversely affect many populations across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Limited human and financial public health resources, rapidly rising populations, and recent infectious disease outbreaks place continuously increasing pressure on health systems. Furthermore, isolated and remote communities face compounded barriers to accessing even basic healthcare and medical supplies. This paper focuses on the application of medical delivery drones within low-income and low-resource public health systems in SSA for the transportation of medical supplies, vaccines, biological samples, and other health-related products.

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