Rwanda: Medical drone delivery system wins global award

00361741 2a9aff8cc860ee1b45a90c73059e26ad arc614x376 w614 us1President Kagame with officials from Zipline Inc. at the launch of medical delivery drones in Muhanga District. (Image source: Village Urugwiro/The New Times)Medical drone delivery company Zipline's joint initiative with the government of Rwanda was, last week, awarded the 2017 Index Award, Body Category, in Copenhagen, Denmark

"Zipline is the first endeavor in world history using drones to deliver blood (and other essential medical supplies).", the organisers of the Awards said.

"It is the result of a laudable, multi-partner approach featuring Silicon Valley company "Zipline - Lifesaving Deliveries" and the Rwandan Government, whose aim is to put every single one of their 12 million citizens within a 15-35 minute range for delivery of any essential medical product that they could need." 

Zipline co-founder Keenan Wyrobek attributed their choice of Rwanda as a partner to the Country standing out "as being data driven in their decision-making process and the most rigorous in how they analyse and manage risk in new projects. These two characteristics define Rwanda's innovative spirit and made Rwanda the obvious launch partner for us".

Rwanda's Ambassador to Denmark with residence in Sweden, Christine Nkulikiyinka, said the award was recognition of the value Rwandans-scarred by the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis-attach to life.

"Thanks to our visionary leadership, every life in Rwanda today matters. The government does all it can to find innovative solutions", she said. "Leapfrogging inefficient systems is the only option we have to achieve our goals", she added.

The Index Awards are given in five categories; Body Category, Work Category, The Play & Learning Category, Community Category and People's Choice.

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