Medical drones set for Namibia

Namibia has drunk the Kool Aid.

The southern African country has become the latest in the region to introduce medical drone deliveries to help meet its healthcare obligations for its rural communities.

Medical drone logistics in Namibia will be launched early next year by healthcare services company Macquarie Medical Care, which has chosen to partner Australian drone company Swoop Aero for this latest innovation in healthcare provision.

The company was the first to bring telehealth medical care to Namibia, and since pilots began in 2012, they have brought health access within reach of thousands of remote workers and international tourists in the mining and tourism sectors.

“Macquarie’s goal is to bring health within reach, through telemedicine and digital health solutions across Namibia” said Dr Armid Azadeh, founder and CEO of Macquarie Medical Care. “Reaching isolated communities with Swoop Aero’s drones is an ideal synergy.”

For Melbourne-based Swoop Aero, this is yet another sojourn into an African country to help fast-track the supply of medicine to communities that need it, through unlocking the sky with scalable, reliable and sustainable drone logistics in Namibia.

Swoop Aero must be doing something good, you reckon.

The drone company operations in seven other countries that include the DRC, Malawi and Mozambique, where it works with both government and non-government organisations to improve access to healthcare in remote areas in these countries with its unmanned aerial logistics platform.

The company will also be in Sierra Leone very soon.

“Our vision is for a world where seamless supply chains bring emotional and economic prosperity to all they serve.”  said Swoop Aero CEO and co-founder Eric Peck. “Healthcare logistics is our bread and butter and we’ve carefully modelled our end-to-end service offering from real-world experience across seven different nations. We’re excited to start operations in Namibia and deliver unique life-saving measures and strengthen the safe hands of healthcare providers and hospitals alongside our partners.”

In line with their operating model, Swoop Aero will hire and train local operations staff – creating skilled jobs and new opportunities in the region as Swoop Aero expands to provide a variety of logistics services to both urban and rural communities and commercial customers in multiple industries across the country, in healthcare and beyond.

“Swoop Aero believes that innovation is best driven by those it supports. We create vibrant local innovation ecosystems, scouting, developing and growing talent in-country, for long-term ethical operations,” Peck continued, “We’re dedicated to creating local, highly-skilled, tech-based jobs in a growing industry wherever we operate, and will be bringing this ethos to Namibia.”

In their Malawian leg of operation, Swoop Aero has hired twelve full-time local staff and trained 70 health workers, who have helped conduct over 5,000 flights. In the DRC, six local staff operate Swoop Aero aircraft across the largest two-way drone network in the world, covering 22,000 square kilometres to service 100 villages.

“Our core goal as a company is to provide a drone logistics service to 100 million people by 2025, and grow that impact to make it accessible by one billion people by 2030,” said Peck. “Operations in Namibia will be the eighth country using the Swoop Aero logistics platform. We’re dedicated to creating solutions to global challenges, and are proud to continue delivering to new communities in Namibia.”


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