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February 28, 2024

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van    Vanuatu   

Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands that stretch 1,300 kilometers. The islands offer scuba diving at coral reefs, underwater caverns and wrecks such as the WWII-era troopship SS President Coolidge. Harborside Port Vila, the nation’s capital and economic center, is on the island of Efate. The city is home to the Vanuatu National Museum, which explores the nation’s Melanesian culture. ― Google

Capital: Port Vila

Population: 319,137 (2021) World Bank

Continent: Oceania

Official languages: French, Bislama, English

President: Tallis Obed Moses, Nikenike Vurobaravu

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Drone-based Vaccine Deliveries in Vanuatu

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The Republic of Vanuatu is a Y-shaped archipelago consisting of 83 relatively small islands of volcanic origin that run 1600 kilometers north to south. Many islands and villages are accessible only by boat, and the roads on the major islands only connect the most important towns and villages. Roads are in bad condition, and they are flooded or washed away quite often due to the predominant climate conditions.

Due to these limitations, vaccine and health supply logistics are expensive, risky, and unreliable. Mobile teams are frequently required to walk to villages and communities in remote areas carrying temperature-sensitive vaccines and equipment. MoH, in assessment with UNICEF, is exploring the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, as a quick, reliable, and effective mode of transportation to deliver vaccines from main health facilities to dispensaries, aid post, and mobile vaccination teams. It also includes maintaining the cargo temperature between 2 and 8 Celsius degrees -to ensure the cold chain is not interrupted and the vaccines are delivered in optimal condition. 

The primary objective of the project is to test the technical feasibility and economical sustainability of including this new mode of transportation into the existing Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) as a last-mile delivery resource. To achieve this objective, Ministry of Health is seeking to contract up to three service contractors through a government procurement process. Three (3) Request for Tender (RFT) processes for physical services, for Pentecost, Epi & Shepherds, and Erromago islands respectively, have been officially issued.

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(UNICEF)
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OCHA coordinates the global emergency response to save lives and protect people in humanitarian crises.

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