Some 30,000 people in Rwanda receive blood transfusions every year. For the hospitals that orchestrate these life-saving procedures, the logistics are often a nightmare.
Once a month or so, a hospital employee may drive two and a half hours to the nearest blood bank to collect donations — if the roads are passable, and if the car is working. Weather can wipe out dirt roads in rural areas.
Zipline International, a robotics company based in California, recently announced a plan to use drones to deliver blood supplies across Rwanda, potentially offering an affordable, efficient, and reliable means of aid.