The country of Vanuatu comprises of roughly 80 islands that stretch across 1300KM of the South Pacific Ocean. The limited infrastructure and varied terrain throughout these islands make the delivery of temperature sensitive vaccines incredibly difficult. Often during these journeys, the vaccines can go outside of the ideal temperature parameters prior to delivery to the patient, this renders the vaccines ineffective.
In an attempt to modernise and improve the delivery of vaccines the Ministry of Health of Vanuatu has collaborated with UNICEF commissioning trials to test the effectiveness of drone-delivered vaccinations. Intelsius are proud to have designed the packaging solution for the Wingcopter drone, chosen to deliver the vaccines to the remote islands of Vanuatu during the trial. The Intelsius packaging system has been designed aerodynamically allowing the drone to achieve speeds of over 70MPH during vaccine delivery. The packaging solution is suitable for delivering up to 72 vaccines per journey, with the transit time being reduced to around 40 minutes compared to the 6-7 hour journey that would be required for delivery by previous means. Furthermore the packaging solution maintains the temperature of the payload between 2°C-8°C for up to 10 hours ensuring the vaccines remain effective upon delivery to the patient.
To minimise downtime and protect the drone from the damage the vaccines held within the single-use packaging solutions are slowly lowered from the drone to the ground, before being removed by the recipient waiting at ground level. By lowering the payload slowly the vaccines are protected from damage on impact. Furthermore, it allows the drone to deliver the vaccines to a variety of locations without checking the suitability for landing prior to the journey commencing.
The hope is that following a successful trial period, drone delivered medicines and vaccines can become a more regular occurrence, supplying lifesaving vaccinations to a multitude of developing countries that have limited infrastructure in place. Intelsius will continue to provide the packaging for these drones, protecting life’s most precious cargo.