Swoop Aero to provide medical drone logistics in Namibia
The new scheme will be operated in collaboration with Macquarie Medical Care
Australian drone logistics provider Swoop Aero has announced that it will launch medical drone services in Namibia from 2022, in collaboration with local health services provider Macquarie Medical Care.
The scheme, Swoop Aero’s first operation in the country, aims to provide healthcare logistics services for both urban and rural communities, and will be supported by a locally hired team of staff.
“Swoop Aero believes that innovation is best driven by those it supports. We create vibrant local innovation ecosystems, scouting, developing and growing talent in-country, for long-term ethical operations,” said Swoop Aero CEO Eric Peck. “We’re dedicated to creating local, highly-skilled, tech-based jobs in a growing industry wherever we operate, and will be bringing this ethos to Namibia.”
The scheme will complement Macquarie’s existing Dr MacQ telehealth services, which offers remote medical consultation and prescription services.
“Macquarie’s goal is to bring health within reach, through telemedicine and digital health solutions across Namibia. Reaching isolated communities with Swoop Aero’s drones is an ideal synergy.”
Growing demand for medical drone logistics across Africa
Namibia will be the eighth country in which Swoop Aero will operate under the new plans, and complements the company’s existing service provision across Africa, including Malawi, where it has operated since November 2019, and the central African Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Swoop Aero also recently completed a medical drone delivery test flight in Sierra Leone on 19 November in collaboration with business partner UAVaid and the Sierra Leone Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI).
“Our core goal as a company is to provide a drone logistics service to 100 million people in 2025, and grow that impact to make it accessible by one billion people by 2030,” Peck added.
Medical drone logistics services are being adopted at a rapid pace across Africa, in part due to the challenging terrain and sparse populations of many rural areas across the continent. Fellow drone logistics specialist Zipline also announced an agreement with the government of Côte d'Ivoire to operate medical drone deliveries in the country in early December.