Rwanda Deploys Drones in Malaria Fight
According to the head of the malaria division at Rwanda Biomedical Center, the drones are loaded with 10 liters of an insecticide that kills mosquitoes at their larval stage.
Dr Mbituyumuremyi said “the unmanned aerial vehicles are going to support the existing efforts that include mosquito nets and housing sprays to fight Anopheles which spread malaria”.
“Now we also want to fight these mosquitoes from their sources. The drones will spray a sort of larvicide, which kills that type of mosquitoes,” he added.
The Rwandan population is estimated at 12.95 million. About 3.9 million people were tested positive in 2018 to 2019, according to the center.
Malaria cases dropped from 4.8m in 2017 to 3.9m in 2019 and the death rate dropped from 660 to 260 between 2016 and 2019, according to the center.
“The drugs which will be sprayed over the marshlands and swamps are verified to be harmless to the people, farms and environment. These substances are produced from bacilli bacteria which are normal in the environment and approved by the World Health Organization,” Dr Mbituyumuremyi said.
In 2016, Zipline, a US-based company launched its activities in Rwanda, delivering blood to different hospitals in the country.
This was the first time globally that drone technology was being deployed to make drops of vital blood and other medical supplies to hospitals, according to a local news portal.