The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) will be using drones to deliver blood to remote rural areas in the country.
The rollout of drone technology is part of a plan to use innovation to save lives according to SANBS.
SANBS drone pilot Lebohang Lebogo tells Azania Mosaka that they are waiting on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to give them permission to do the proof of concept, which will be between Kopanong and Sebokeng hospitals.
SANBS chief executive officer Dr Jonathan Louw says the service is working closely with the CAA to get the project off the ground.
We looked at what other countries are doing and we took it to another level. We needed to take off and land and actually cross match blood.— Dr Jonathan Louw, CEO - South African National Blood Service
The aircraft is unique in the sense of its safety profile. We danger see any danger in this in any way.— Dr Jonathan Louw, CEO - South African National Blood Service
Lebogo explains how she will be using the drones and their capacity.
I will have a ground station at one of the hospitals where I will do my flight planning, pre-flight checks and a few flights over to Sebokeng and Kopanong.— Lebohang Lebogo, Drone pilot - South African National Blood Service
We need to make sure the drone is safe, it can land and deliver and maintains the temperature because blood needs to be maintained between two and eight degrees Celsius.— Lebohang Lebogo, Drone pilot - South African National Blood Service
The drone can have a range of 100km and it can fly at 180km/per hour, so it goes very quickly. We can deliver four units of emergency blood, but we can also take samples back to the blood bank to be cross-matched.— Lebohang Lebogo, Drone pilot - South African National Blood Service
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