UPS teams with VillageReach and Swoop Aero to accelerate equitable vaccine distribution

Delivering hope in Africa
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What’s new: UPS and The UPS Foundation have teamed with VillageReach and Swoop Aero in Malawi to further support the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.

VillageReach is known for collaborating with governments and organizations to build health solutions that improve equity and access to care. Their mission to transform health care delivery to reach everyone is a natural fit with Swoop Aero’s sustainable and scalable drone technology platforms – getting critical health supplies to remote, underserved communities.

Why it matters: Together, UPS, VillageReach and Swoop Aero are delivering vaccines farther and faster than ever before. Drone technology can reduce vaccine transit times in hard-to-reach areas from six to seven hours to as little as 15 to 20 minutes.

These efforts to reach underserved communities are especially meaningful when only 17% of the African continent is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Drone delivery is steadily reducing vaccine transportation costs and increasing vaccine accessibility. In fact, cancellations at immunization clinics in Malawi due to lack of supply have declined from 11% to just 1.3%. Improvements like that save lives.

And now, with the help of UPS, VillageReach and Swoop Aero are expanding their outreach from three to more than 20 districts throughout Malawi – connecting nearly 100 hard-to-reach clinics with hospitals, pharmacies and labs, and helping thousands more people get the care they need.

Collaboration is key: “This partnership opens up new avenues for supporting the Malawi government in tackling persistent barriers to equity and universal health coverage,” said Olivier Defawe, director & drone program lead at VillageReach.

The public-private collaboration includes The UPS Foundation, UPS Healthcare, UPS Flight Forward, VillageReach and Swoop Aero.

Did you know: In 2021, The UPS Foundation and UPS Healthcare deployed experts in ultra-cold chain to Malawi and donated portable sterling freezers. We also worked with the ministry of health to develop a master operating plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccines donated by the U.S. government.

UPS has delivered well over a billion vaccine doses. Go behind the scenes to hear what it’s meant to the UPSers who’ve had a hand in this important work.

Find out about other progress toward equitable distribution around the world in the related stories below. And be on the lookout for more on how we’re delivering hope as we move our world forward by delivering what matters.

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