• Ramu Sapkota, 2021

Flying medicines over mountains: Options is developing a last mile drone delivery system in Nepal

Tuesday, 27 Apr 2021
Nepal has some of the most rugged and difficult mountain terrains in the world, making the delivery of life saving medicines and vaccines a challenge. Options is currently looking for partnerships and funding to launch a last mile drone delivery system.

Nepal has some of the most rugged and difficult mountain terrain in the world, making delivery of essential medicines and supplies challenging. This combined with poor road conditions and the adverse effect COVID-19 is causing many health facilities to experience stock-outs of lifesaving drugs. ‘Last mile’ communities in remote and hard-to-reach locations have rarely experienced a reliable medical supply in their local health facilities. 

Options is partnering with the Government of Nepal, WeRobotics and Nepal Flying Labs to develop an innovative solution of using drones to deliver health medicines and products to reach the last mile, building on promising evidence on the use of drones for tuberculosis diagnosis in Nepal from our partners. While using drones to deliver medicines is not a new idea, our approach to embed this within the health system for scale is unique and can also help deliver COVID-19 vaccines to last mile communities later this year once the drone technology becomes available.

Ultimately, our aim is to save the lives of mothers, newborns and children and contribute to universal health coverage in Nepal. If we use drones to make this a reality in mountainous areas in Nepal, we can apply this approach in challenging environments everywhere.

We are currently seeking opportunities for funding and partnerships to take this innovation to scale. For more information, please contact Options' Director for Design and Innovation Sara Bandali (s.bandali@options.co.uk).

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