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Swoop Aero expands operations in Africa

Manufacturing News

Drone services company Swoop Aero has expanded its African operations with the delivery of vaccinations and medical supplies to distant locations in central Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The company’s drones replaced small aircraft in its efforts to extend access to healthcare to the remote and largely inaccessible places.

Authorities in the Équateur region used Swoop Aero as a drone medical delivery network, with the success of that operation leading to to a campaign to vaccinate 90 per cent of Équateur’s population against yellow fever.

Australian aerospace composites manufacturer Quickstep bought a stake in Swoop’s parent company, Kookaburra Aerospace and inked a supply deal, as reported in @AuManufacturing in October.

Quickstep received an initial order worth $1.5 million which would see them provide engineering and manufacturing services, as well as an initial production run of ship sets for Swoop’s KITE cargo drone.

Swoop CEO Eric Peck said: “In DR Congo, Swoop Aero and VillageReach have continued to exponentially increase the scale, reach, and impact of the technology to deliver positive and long-term health outcomes for those isolated and remote communities in the Équateur province.

“Swoop Aero’s involvement in the yellow fever campaign demonstrated the power and value of drone logistics to reduce critical journey times of vaccines to these communities to ensure those communities received the healthcare they needed to remain protected against this preventable illness.”

Équateur’s yellow fever medical drone delivery effort was backed by UNICEF, the World Health Organization, healthcare nonprofit VillageReach, and others.

The program involved operating six drones that flew 7,363 kilometres to five provincial vaccination centres delivering 32,460 yellow fever doses.

“Over 27,780 people received the shot during the campaign, many of whom were in areas difficult to access – except by UAV.”

Picture: Swoop Aero

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