Less than two weeks after Swoop Aero entered the third year of its healthcare and medical operation in Malawi, the Australian logistics and drone delivery specialist earned a grant from a US humanitarian group to scale that network across the southeastern African country.
Melbourne-based Swoop Aero said it had been granted $1.5 million from USAID Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) to broaden its existing infrastructure and networks using drones to deliver healthcare and medical supplies to clinics across Malawi. A second phase in that activity will be production of a detailed assessment of the effects and efficiencies of integrating UAVs into national health systems. That will later be used as a blueprint for effective replication in other nations.
Awarding of the coveted grant – USAID DIV funding is extended to less than 2% of applicants – comes as Swoop Aero celebrates the third year of its Malawi drone delivery operation, which it introduced with the country’s health authorities in November 2019. Those finances will aid the company’s network expansion from the current districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, and Mangochi to what’s expected to be national coverage.
The objective is to reach 140 health facilities across Malawi within the next 18 months, and continue using Swoop Aero’s drone delivery services to improve the accessibility, availability, and quality of routine and emergency health supplies to remote or underserved communities. In doing so, it will continue working with international partners, including UNICEF, UKAID, USAID, UPS, and VillageReach.
“Swoop Aero’s success in the USAID DIV funding process is a testament to the sophistication and operational record of the complete Swoop Aero technology-based platform,” said company CEO Eric Peck. “We have proven that Swoop Aero is a world leader in drone logistics, and is recognized as such by some of the most significant players in the global health sector, including USAID. We are thrilled to drive forward this partnership with USAID, VillageReach and the Ministry of Health and Population to strengthen the national health supply chain.”
News of the grant to scale operations in Malawi comes just a week after Swoop Aero announced it had received government financing in Australia to create what it says will be the largest medical drone delivery network in Queensland.
In addition to that expansion in its domestic market, Swoop Aero also has plans to extend its medical drone delivery operations in the Democratic of Congo, Mozambique, Namibia, and possibly other of the African nations it works in.