Kalangala district, whose HIV prevalence rate stands at 16% has been struggling to raise sufficient resources to transport health workers and drugs to different landing site
Drones will soon be used to deliver the life
prolonging Anti-Retroviral-ARVs drugs to several landing sites in Kalangala
Both the Ministry of Health and Kalangala
District Local Government have approved the use of drones to deliver the ARVs so
as to increase access to residents.
Kalangala district, whose HIV prevalence rate stands at 16% has been struggling to raise sufficient resources
to transport health workers and drugs to different landing sites.
Not less than Shillings 200,000 is required to
transport a health worker on a fiber boat from the main island to a nearby
However, the health workers couldn’t reach the more than 60 islands
because of inadequate resources. This is likely to be something of the past when drones start
delivering ARVs thanks to the Sustainable
Development Initiative project and Infectious Diseases Institute.
Under this project, health facilities will be required to
establish a database of all HIV patients on different landing sites and a schedule
indicting when each patient is supposed to receive the drugs.
Once this is received, a drone will be
dispatched to drop the medicine of each patient that will be distributed by Village
The Kalangala District Chairperson, Willy
Lugoloobi, says the project will reduce on the usage of water transport and
save them resources.
He says they have already acquired the coordinates where the
boxes of drugs will be dropped.
//Cue in: “Twaagala kola nteekateeka …
Cue out: … ARVs zetugenda okutandikirako.”//
Lugoloobi cautions all people against unsafe sex
practices, saying it would be difficult for the drone to carry huge drug
//Cue in: “Wadde eddagala tukyaagaba …
Cue out: … nga oli mulimu.”//
Samuel Katumba, the Project Coordinator Sustainable
Development Initiative, says the program will not compromise the principle of
confidentiality of patients since the Village health teams are mandated to
swear an oath of secrecy.
He however, says they haven’t established the exact quantity
of drugs the drones will carry.
The best heavy lifting drone is Alta 8
from Freefly Systems
. It has a 36-inch diameter wing-span and 8 powerful motors.
The Alta 8 is capable of lifting up to 18 kilograms.