J&J is using drones to deliver HIV drugs in East Africa [video]

An estimated 10 million HIV patients around the world are unable to access life-saving medications. Often, it’s because they are located in areas so remote that ferrying the drugs becomes an extremely slow and time-consuming process. Johnson & Johnson wants to change that. That’s why the company is funding a drone program in Uganda, East Africa, to deliver HIV treatments.

Overall, there are 1.5 million people in Uganda living with HIV. The rates of infection on the mainland are declining with the help of antiretroviral therapies provided by the Ugandan Ministry of Health. At the same time, in Uganda’s Kalangala District – which is made up of 84 islands – infection rates are known to increase by up to 25% annually. While only seven islands have healthcare facilities, continuity of care is further disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic putting an acute strain on Ugandan healthcare systems.

Navigating to a challenging location

The Kalangala islands are widely scattered…