Background: Ethiopia’s maternal mortality rate is among the highest in the world with 470 deaths per 100,000 live births. Every year post-partum hemorrhage (PPH) remains the leading cause of maternal mortality in Ethiopia. The problem is worse in the rural setting where there are not proper facilities and trained health workers to administer injectable medicine. Currently, the methods used by health centers in rural areas include referring the patient to the nearest hospital within a short period of time even though most of patients die in the ambulances without reaching the hospitals in nearby.
Method: In this project, the design of rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with thermoelectric cold-box system is proposed. The temperature of blood bag is controlled by a thermoelectric cooler working based on the Pieter effect. The blood is transported to rural health centers through UAV, and the blood containing box will release it from higher altitudes using servo dropping mechanism.
Results: The prototype was built and undergone through different iteration process. The proposed device was tested for safety, delivery time, bioavailability, range of operation, weight of the package and durability. For this design, the drone was flown a distance of 10km with less than 15 minutes while 100 meters above the ground. Conclusion: The proposed project has a clinical significance such as saving the lives of mothers and the child. Through the design of a UAV, the transportation of medical and biological component is feasible. The use of UAVs for medical supply delivery will considerably reduce the number of people admitting to the hospital and, therefore, minimizes the cost of medical services that comes with hospitalization.