Shillong, May 22: The state of Meghalaya has embarked on an innovative initiative to enhance healthcare services and medical supply in remote and isolated regions. Health Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh recently announced that drones would be employed to transport life-saving drugs and other essential medicines to areas that are difficult to access.
This initiative is part of the Meghalaya government’s effort to ensure timely medical
assistance for residents in remote health centers. Currently, the Meghalaya government has identified 11 remote and isolated health centers across the state where drones will be deployed to deliver medicines. However, the number of locations benefiting from this service is expected to increase to 25 in the coming months.
“There are 11 such sites that have already been marked for drone services. By September-October, we expect these sites to increase substantially to at least 25,” Ampareen Lyngdoh stated.
The specific health centers that will receive drone deliveries include Pedaldoba PHC, Mendipathar PHC, Nongalbibra PHC, Samanda PHC, Shallang PHC, Asanang PHC, Dadenggre CHC, Gabil PHC, Manikganj PHC, Sualmeri PHC, and Songsak PHC.
Notably, a drone station is already operational at the Jengjal sub-divisional hospital in the West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya. Lyngdoh highlighted that while many states are conducting drone pilot projects, Meghalaya is among the fore-bearers to have established a fully functioning drone station in Jengjal.
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Drones offer significant advantages in terms of accessibility and speed, especially in areas where road transportation is challenging. These unmanned aerial vehicles can deliver a maximum of five kilograms of medicines per trip. As a result, previously inaccessible locations will now receive essential medications promptly.
Lyngdoh emphasized that by September and October of this year, drones will be able to transport up to 25 kilograms of medicines. Additionally, the adoption of drone deliveries substantially reduces transportation costs, making it a cost-effective solution for medical supply.
Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh, who also serves as the Meghalaya Agriculture Minister, revealed that the government is considering replicating the drone services for the delivery of agricultural products as well.
“If this works in the health services, we can also replicate it for agricultural produce and products. Therefore, we are now expanding the system,” She explained.
This innovative approach ensures that even residents in the most remote and isolated areas have access to life-saving medicines. As Meghalaya continues to expand its drone delivery system, the positive impact on healthcare, and potential applications in other sectors, such as agriculture, are likely to drive further advancements in the region.