The State government today unveiled North East’s first drone delivery hub and network in Meghalaya at the Jengjal Sub-Divisional hospital in West Garo Hills district.
The hub built was built through the Meghalaya Health Systems Strengthening Project (MHSSP) in partnership TechEagle, a drone delivery start-up.
“The groundbreaking effort intends to improve the universal access to healthcare in the state by delivering vital supplies like drugs, diagnostic samples, vaccines, blood and blood components quickly and safely to different regions of the state using a dedicated drone delivery network,” an official release said.
Health Minister, James PK Sangma who inaugurated the hub said, “We are seeing something that is unparalleled in any place of the world. It is a matter of pride for the State of Meghalaya that we would be the first state to institutionalise this initiative and have a system that can be expanded to other areas of the State as well.”
MHSSP project director, Ramkumar S said the project aims at providing access to life-saving drugs and other medical essentials to far-flung and hard-to-reach areas of the State. “The drone station is meant for regular delivery of medicines, vaccines, blood samples, anti-venoms, etc,” he added.
TechEagle CEO and Founder, Vikram Singh said, “Transforming the logistics and healthcare supply chain is at the heart of TechEagle’s vision and this initiative is a first big step forward in the direction of achieving the goal of universal access to healthcare and logistics across the world.” He thanked the government for providing them the opportunity to create a larger impact on grass root level.
On the same day, the first official drone flight took off from Jengjal and delivered medicines to Padeldoba PHC in less than 30 minutes which would have otherwise taken 2.5 hours by road. TechEagle’s Vertiplane X3 drone delivered different healthcare products including snake venom-2 pax, Labetalol- 4 pax, Human Albumin-1 pax, Cefotaxime (typhoid dose)- 50 pax in its first flight, which was 5X faster in comparison to ground transportation, the release added.
TechEagle had successfully conducted India’s first medicine delivery via a drone in Meghalaya in September 2021 where its hybrid e-VTOL drone Aquila X2 delivered lifesaving drugs successfully from Nongstoiñ Civil Hospital to Maweit PHC.