Tag: UAS

On 28 June 2017, children look on excited at the testing of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs) or drones by the UNICEF Innovation Team at the Kasungu Aerodrome in Kasungu in central Malawi. ©UNICEF/UN070230/Chisiza

July 2017 Recap: Must-Read Stories

Hi there UNICEFStories Readers. In case you missed our latest blogs, here’s a recap of some of the top stories published on UNICEF Innovation’s blog during July. Click away. Drones For Good – Participants in Vanuatu Drone Trial Take Vaccines to the Skies On July 27, the Government of Vanuatu […]

Jane Goodall Institute staff launch a drone to map forests in the Republic of the Congo’s Tchimpounga Nature Reserve. ©Jeffrey Kerby

When Help Is Delivered From the Sky

The original story was published in the June 2017 issue of the National Geographic. Written by Nina Strochlic. View the original story here.  No longer just a military tool, drones are responding to natural disasters, aiding conservation, and delivering life-saving aid. Recently, more aid and service organizations are harnessing the opportunities […]

Flying high over Malawi: My time working with drones

Flying high over Malawi: My time working with drones

The original story was published in medium.com/unicef_malawi on 16 March 2017. View the original article here. This written reflection is by Matthias Boyen, a UN Volunteer working as HIV/AIDS support project officer with UNICEF Malawi. Living and working in Malawi has always been exciting. As a student in conflict and development, […]

Job Opportunity: Consultancy: Technical Coordinator, UAS Testing Corridor, Office of Innovation, UNICEF Malawi

Job Opportunity: Consultancy: Technical Coordinator, UAS Testing Corridor, Office of Innovation, UNICEF Malawi

View the complete Terms of Reference here. Title: Technical Coordinator, UAS Testing Corridor Location of Assignment: Lilongwe, Malawi Language(s) required: English, another UN language is an asset Travel: Travel anticipated – including traveling to UNICEF Office of Innovation New York Headquarters (NYHQ). Duration of Contract: 11.5 months – estimated start […]

On 14 March 2016, children in Malawi look on amazed in the community demonstration of  Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or drones) flying in Lilongwe. The Ministry of Health and UNICEF launched the first 10km auto programmed flight in a trial to speed up the testing and diagnosis of HIV in infants.

Malawi has a national HIV prevalence rate of 10% - still one of the highest in the world. An estimated 1 million Malawians were living with HIV in 2013 and 48,000 died from HIV-related illnesses in the same year. Whilst progress has been made, and today 90% of pregnant women know their HIV status, there is still a drop off with testing and treating babies and children. In 2014, around 10,000 children in Malawi died from HIV-related diseases and less than half of all children were on treatment.    Samples are currently transported by road, either by motorbike or local authority ambulances. Various factors including the high cost of diesel fuel, poor state of roads and limited distribution schedules have resulted in extreme delays in lab sample transport, constituting a significant impediment for the scaling up of paediatric ART’s effectiveness.   

In March 2016,  the Government of Malawi and UNICEF have started testing the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or drones) to explore cost effective ways of reducing waiting times for HIV testing of infants. The test, which is using simulated samples, will have the potential to cut waiting times dramatically, and if successful will be integrated into the health system alongside others mechanisms such as road transport and SMS.  The first successful test flight completed the 10km route unhindered travelling from a community health centre to the Kamuzu Central Hospital laboratory.  Local residents gathered in amazement as the vehicle took off and flew away in the direction of the hospital. The test flights which are assessing viability including cost and safety, will continue until Friday 18th March.  The UAV flights are suppo

U.N., Malawi to explore use of drones to deliver faster aid in crises

The original story was published in Reuters on 15 December 2016. Written by Emma Batha. View the original article here. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The U.N. children’s agency and Malawi’s government are teaming up to test whether drones could make aid delivery faster and more effective during humanitarian disasters, such as […]