Delivering Goods from the Sky

By Justin Matheson-Turner, PSI

How do you quickly and effectively resolve medicine and commodity stock-outs in hard-to-reach communities? In Madagascar, where 80 percent of the population lives in remote rural communities, physical access to healthcare is often limited by impassable road conditions. To solve this, PSI is employing a quick and easy way to ensure timely delivery of lifesaving health products: drones.

With support from the United States Agency for International Development, PSI is using unmanned aerial vehicle technology to deliver medical supplies to areas where delivery of care is hampered by poor or non-existent roads. The small, fully autonomous drones are able to carry up to six supply capsules weighing one kilo each within a flight range of at least 100 km. With 20 take-off points across the country, this mode of delivery will serve over 500 rural districts representing over 1 million people.

Set to launch to scale in 2017, this innovative approach will ensure thousands of people in vulnerable remote communities throughout Madagascar get the care they deserve.

This article is part of an ongoing conversation about #MakingMarketsWork in Impact Magazine No. 22 “Are We Thinking Big Enough” issue. Join in the conversation with @PSIImpact.


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