(QCOSTARICA) Eight remote towns in Talamanca and Valle La Estrella starting in 2017 will receive drugs via drones, thanks to a new government
program by the Ministry of Health.
Operated by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), clinics (Ebais) in the remote communities will receive the medication, reducing the waiting time to less than an hour from order.
The communities are Sepecue, Amubri, Katsi, Cahuita, Margarita and Bambú in the in Huetar Atlántica region and Valle Las Rosas and Penshurt in the Talamanca region.
Currently, it can take from several hours to days for patients in remote communities to receive the medicines. Despite the use of all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles or boats for deliveries to remote areas, the waiting time in isolated areas, in particular indigenous areas of the Talamanca region, the waiting time increases.
“We’re talking about patients that need to travel for hours in difficult conditions to reach medical care. They live in adverse economic conditions and can’t travel repeatedly”, says Esteban Vega, the national coordinator of pharmaceutical services for the CCSS.
On average, each month the program seeks to deliver 13,200 medical packages using the pilotless aerial vehicles.