UN, Malawi try drones to transport HIV tests in babies
24 March 2016, 08:20
Johannesburg - Malawi and the UN children's agency are
experimenting with drones to speed up HIV testing for infants.
Mahimbo Mdoe, a UNICEF representative in Malawi, says
drones will solve the challenges that health workers face in reaching remote
parts of the southern African nation.
Mdoe says 10 000 children in Malawi die every year of
illnesses related to HIV, which causes Aids, and that nearly 40 000 children
were born to HIV-positive mothers in 2014.
The UNICEF spokesperson in Malawi, Angela Travis, says
initial testing has been completed.
Travis said Tuesday that the drones travelled 5 to 10km
with a simulated blood sample.
The children's agency said blood samples are currently
transported by motorbike or ambulances. High fuel costs and bad roads have
contributed to transport delays.