UN, Malawi try drones to transport HIV tests in babies

March 23, 2016

Malawi and the United Nations children's agency are experimenting with drones to speed up HIV testing for infants.

Mahimbo Mdoe, a UNICEF representative in Malawi, says drones will solve the challenges that face in reaching remote parts of the southern African nation.

Mdoe says 10,000 children in Malawi die every year of illnesses related to HIV, which causes AIDS, and that nearly 40,000 children were born to HIV-positive mothers in 2014.

The UNICEF spokeswoman in Malawi, Angela Travis, says initial testing has been completed.

Travis said Tuesday that the traveled 5 to 10 kilometers (3 to 6 miles) with a simulated blood sample.

The children's agency said blood samples are currently transported by motorbike or ambulances. High fuel costs and bad roads have contributed to transport delays.

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