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Drones to deliver life-saving medicines

By Staff Correspondent
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SHILLONG, Sept 24 - The North Eastern Council (NEC) has initiated a pilot project to send life-saving vaccines to remote areas of the State using Drones.

The NEC has tied up with the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) and North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC) for the project.

The pilot project, which was initiated last week, after several rounds of meetings held with authorities from NESAC and NEIGRIHMS, would first find out the feasibility of such an endeavour.

�The idea is to send life-saving vaccines like snake bite anti venom and also blood in times of emergencies to remote corners of the State,� Calvin Calvin H Kharshiing, NEC Planning Adviser told The Assam Tribune at the sidelines of a programme here today.

He said NEIGRIHMS is the hub of the project, while NESAC has provided the drone which would be used for transporting the vital drugs in times of emergencies.

Kharshiing said after the completion of the pilot project the report would be studied and based on the findings, steps would be taken accordingly.

Citing several milestones and clearance to be achieved before the project , Kharshiing said, for transporting blood on drones, the drones have to be customized.

�Then there are clearances from multiple agencies that have to be received. The medical fraternity has to be brought on board,� he said about the challenges ahead.

The idea to use drones is because the State has a hilly terrain with poor communication system. In the rural areas health care facilities are poor and many people lose their lives in the absence of timely interventions.

Moreover, the other challenges in the health care sector includes shortage of trained manpower and poor infrastructure at the health Centres, especially in the remote parts of the State.

Meanwhile, at a two-day Regional Consultation Workshop on Strengthening Public Health Sector for Emergency Preparedness and Response and Disaster Risk Reduction for Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura, experts discussed about individual state preparedness. Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Assam, Madhulika Jonathan drew attention to the plight of women and children in emergency situations.

She also spoke on the need for minimum preparedness measures which should be in place for rapid response, including measures to strengthen health of new born. Director Programs and Advocacy, Oxfam India Pankaj Anand, said globally risk of disaster and emergencies is on the rise. Between 1998 -2017, climate related and geo-physical disaster claimed the lives of over 1.3 million people and rendered another 4.4 billion injured, homeless or in need of emergency assistance.

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Drones to deliver life-saving medicines

SHILLONG, Sept 24 - The North Eastern Council (NEC) has initiated a pilot project to send life-saving vaccines to remote areas of the State using Drones.

The NEC has tied up with the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) and North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC) for the project.

The pilot project, which was initiated last week, after several rounds of meetings held with authorities from NESAC and NEIGRIHMS, would first find out the feasibility of such an endeavour.

�The idea is to send life-saving vaccines like snake bite anti venom and also blood in times of emergencies to remote corners of the State,� Calvin Calvin H Kharshiing, NEC Planning Adviser told The Assam Tribune at the sidelines of a programme here today.

He said NEIGRIHMS is the hub of the project, while NESAC has provided the drone which would be used for transporting the vital drugs in times of emergencies.

Kharshiing said after the completion of the pilot project the report would be studied and based on the findings, steps would be taken accordingly.

Citing several milestones and clearance to be achieved before the project , Kharshiing said, for transporting blood on drones, the drones have to be customized.

�Then there are clearances from multiple agencies that have to be received. The medical fraternity has to be brought on board,� he said about the challenges ahead.

The idea to use drones is because the State has a hilly terrain with poor communication system. In the rural areas health care facilities are poor and many people lose their lives in the absence of timely interventions.

Moreover, the other challenges in the health care sector includes shortage of trained manpower and poor infrastructure at the health Centres, especially in the remote parts of the State.

Meanwhile, at a two-day Regional Consultation Workshop on Strengthening Public Health Sector for Emergency Preparedness and Response and Disaster Risk Reduction for Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura, experts discussed about individual state preparedness. Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Assam, Madhulika Jonathan drew attention to the plight of women and children in emergency situations.

She also spoke on the need for minimum preparedness measures which should be in place for rapid response, including measures to strengthen health of new born. Director Programs and Advocacy, Oxfam India Pankaj Anand, said globally risk of disaster and emergencies is on the rise. Between 1998 -2017, climate related and geo-physical disaster claimed the lives of over 1.3 million people and rendered another 4.4 billion injured, homeless or in need of emergency assistance.