Now drones can be used to deliver medical supplies, vaccines in India: ICMR guidelines

What is the News?

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released guidelines for drone use in the healthcare sector to ensure access to medicines and vaccines, especially in the geographically difficult terrains in the country.

Why should drones be used in the Healthcare Sector?

Only 30,000 government-run primary healthcare centres cater to nearly 1.4 billion people in India. Moreover, 5-10% of these are not accessible to the suppliers and patients because of difficult terrain.

This highlights the need to ensure last-mile delivery of essential treatments, vaccines and other medical supplies. 

In this, drones have tremendous potential to deliver vital goods to vulnerable populations, overcoming access barriers and enabling faster delivery of life-saving medicine.

Guidelines for Drone Use in Healthcare Sector

The guidelines have been issued in compliance with the New drone Rules-2021 which highlights the ways of selecting drones and choosing takeoffs and landing sites.

According to the guidelines, temperature-sensitive medical supplies and vaccines with a storage temperature between 2 °C and 8 °C are allowed to be transported by drones

Tablets, capsules, syrups, surgicals, blood bags and diagnostic biological tissues can also be transported following the guidance.

What is Medicine from the Sky project?

Medicine from the Sky project is a collaboration of the Telangana government, World Economic Forum, HealthNet Global and NITI Aayog.

Purpose: To deliver medicines, vaccination and units of blood to remote, rural areas by means of drones.

Source: The post is based on the article Now drones can be used to deliver medical supplies, vaccines in India: ICMR guidelinespublished in Down To Earth on 6th June 2022.

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