The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has a powerful new weapon in the fight against the spread of viruses: drones. NPR reported that a UNICEF-charted drone delivered doses of both hepatitis and tuberculosis vaccines to a one-month-old female patient named Joy who lives in the island country of Vanuatu, located in the Pacific approximately halfway between New Caledonia and Fiji. According to UNICEF, the extreme remoteness of Vanuatu makes it very difficult to deliver medical supplies to the population.


“This drone flight changes everything,” UNICEF recently wrote in an email. “1 in 5 children here in Vanuatu misses out on essential childhood vaccines because of the challenges we face to deliver them. It’s extremely hard to carry ice boxes to keep the vaccines cool while walking across rivers, mountains, through the rain, across rocky ledges. Field teams can’t even rely on boats—they often get canceled due to bad weather.”

“Now, with these drones, we can reach many more children in the most remote areas of the island—and beyond.”