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Strengthening health supply chains in Malawi

Our work in Malawi North and Malawi South spans integrated medical drone supply chain logistics and disaster response.

Malawi North

In 2019, Swoop Aero took over operations of the USAID Global health supply chain project in the Nkhata Bay district of Malawi.

Using the district hospital as our base, we rapidly expanded existing operations, launching up to ten long-range medical drone flights per day. With multiple aircraft airborne at once, we facilitated efficient cold-chain deliveries, medication drops, and collections of blood samples for HIV/AIDS testing.

Malawi South

In January 2020, we launched a multi-purpose medical air logistics and disaster relief operation in the Nsanje and Chikwawa districts of Malawi with funding from UNICEF and UK aid.

By combining seamless daily long-range drone deliveries with an ability to assist with flood mapping, and disaster response, the program strengthens the health supply chain. It also improves access to healthcare during the flood season for the 500,000 residents of Malawi South.

Delivery of Critical Supplies

The Swoop Aero fleet of aircraft bridge the last mile between hard-to-reach populations and the vital medical supplies they need to improve health outcomes. Because of our unique two-way logistics capability, one flight can safely convey vaccines and other medical supplies at the right temperature for 130 km before picking up time-sensitive test samples for the return flight. This expedites an approximate six-hour round-trip journey to under 60 minutes.

Upskilling Local Resources

By employing and empowering locals, we aim to make operations self-sufficient and eliminate the need for Swoop Aero’s international team to be running operations on the ground. Nurses and healthcare staff will soon be able to send and receive supplies independently, so they can continue to do their work as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Aerial Mapping and Data Collection

The Swoop Aero aircraft run simultaneous aerial mapping and data collection activities, with collected data used to optimise early warning and disaster preparedness procedures. Local authorities will use the data for informed and timely decision-making, ultimately leading to vulnerable communities being provided with the humanitarian assistance they need. The detailed data will also support other humanitarian projects such as the identification of disease hotspots, evaluation of crop yields, and flood modelling in high-risk areas.

Further reading

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