New Delhi : After supplying COVID-19 vaccines with the help of drones, Manipur is now started delivering medicines with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
The delivery of medicines with the help of drones was conducted on October 9 at Churachandpur in Manipur.
The drone flew between Health and Wellness centre at Churachandpur to District Hospital in Bishnupur and then went ahead to PHC Phayeng. It carried 1,200 Iron folic acid tablets that was given to 40 women in Antenatal Care (ANC) at PHC Pheyang, which is said to suffice for one month.
The complete process of the delivery was automated. The drone pilot attached the medicine box to the drone.
“Churachandpur health and wellness centre (storage site) was just by the roadside of the take off site at Churachandpur. The District Family Welfare Officer (DFWO), Churachandpur provided 1,200 tablets of Ferrous and folic acid tablets for transportation via drone,” said Dr Sumit Aggarwal, Scientist and Program Officer, Co-PI, I Drone project, Division of ECD.
He further said that the drone covered about 29 km in the first flight.
“On October 6, the longest flight was for 26 km. On October 9 the drone completed 29 km (Churachandpur to Bishnupur )+ 26 km (Bishnupur to Phayeng) aerial distance, in a total of 64 minutes (34 minutes + 30minutes),” Dr Sumit added.
The drone flight parameters and the medicine box remained intact. They were delivered safely to PHC-Phayeng.
Earlier, the Telangana government’s initiative ‘Medicine from the Sky’ was launched on September 11 to deliver medicines to remote areas using drones.
The verification and certification of medicines by doctors, Auxiliary nurse midwives (ANM) and police officers was also done.
“During the supplying process, no ICMR person was present. All the activities were conducted by Manipur healthcare workers and drone operators. During the supply of medicines, there was no team from ICMR, but the training and monitoring have been provided for same by ICMR,” said Dr Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases Division, ICMR.
The team from ICMR Headquarter includes Project in-charge Dr Samiran Panda, from Manipur the field manager is Dr Sumit Aggarwal and documents and ATC clearance is done by Dr Prakmya Gupta while training imparted by Dr S Balaji and assessment is done by Dr Nupur Mahajan.