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In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of maternal deaths is overwhelmingly high, with Sierra Leone topping the list among West African countries. Currently, about 1,200 per 100,000 women die during childbirth in Sierra Leone.
Due to unreliable electricity, many hospitals can’t afford to store cold-chain products or blood on-site, so mothers often die as a result of preventable blood loss. However, UNICEF’s recently launched drone corridor in Sierra Leone is set to change the narrative by aiding quick emergency response via drone technology.
Irrespective of location, drones can quickly deliver medical supplies such as labor inducers or blood needed during deliveries, which will smoothen the process of childbirth and reduce maternal and infant deaths at birth.
With this drone initiative, Sierra Leone is one step closer to swift and efficient health care delivery. The drone corridor will also explore drone technology for emergency response and disaster reduction, data imagery, geospatial mapping, and agroforestry.