The government of Rwanda in partnership with Charis Unmanned Aerial Solutions, the only licensed drone company in Rwanda, will launch the pilot project in Jabana sector, Gasabo district on January 28th, 2020.
The project will complement the government of Rwanda efforts to curb Malaria including the distribution of mosquito nets and spraying insecticides to kill mosquitoes in damp areas which are breeding grounds for Anopheles mosquitoes known for transmitting malaria parasites to humans.
The government also sensitizes Rwandans to test for malaria and avails health services in all districts of the country.
It is expected that the drones that will be used in the project have the capacity of carrying and spraying a 10-liter bottle of insecticide. The drones can fly for 15 minutes on average and spray insecticide on at least 40 hectares per day.
Aimable Mbituyumuremyi, Director of Blood Borne Infections and STIs Unit at Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) said that drone technology is used to fight against Malaria in developed countries and that the results are impressive.
“It is easier to spray insecticides in inaccessible areas such as marshlands using spray pumps. The drones will make our work much easier.”
The project is part of a six-month campaign dubbed “Zero Malaria Starts with me” which will be conducted before the Kigali Summit on Malaria and NTDs scheduled on July 25th, 2020.
Statistics from the Ministry of Health show that during the year 2018/2019, 3.9 million people were infected with Malaria.
In 2019, the number of Malaria patients decreased from 4.8 million to 3.7 million recorded in 2018 implying a 21% decrease.
Statistics show that Malaria is one of the diseases affecting developing countries especially on the African continent where weather conditions facilitate the development of the predominant parasite species ‘Plasmodium falciparum”, which is the species that is most likely to cause severe malaria and death.
However, the number of deaths caused by Malaria have decreased in Rwanda from 663 recorded in 2016/2017 to 264 in 2018/2019.
The Ministry of Health reported that 7.5 million mosquito nets will be distributed in Rwanda and insecticides spread in 12 districts.