A startup in Nigeria wants to use drones to supply local clinics and hospitals with medicines. Arone is the name of the “delivery service” – an invention by Africans for Africans.
Emonauel Ezenwere, the founder of Arone, was inspired by Life Bank, another startup that supplies hospitals with blood. They find blood banks that have blood and deliver it to clinics that need it urgently. The young Nigerian says he had the chance to meet the founder of Life Bank. Since then, he began to think about the impact that it would have when they could bring the blood with a drone to the people that desperately need it.
Arone is made up of six members that work in engineering, software development, and design, to achieve their goal of saving lives in Africa, especially in rural areas where communities have no medical care.
Ezenwere is an artificial and intelligence engineer who designs and builds the Arone autonomous software. Charles Njoku, designer and head of design lab, is responsible for the graphic design, logos and branding. Kenechukwu Ezeama, an electronics engineer, takes care of aviation. John Chamberlain Agbo, a mechanical engineer, develops CAD models and simulations. Emmanuel Ikpe, an automation engineer, is in charge of the robotics. And Valentine Ofoegbu, a mobile developer, develops the Arone mobile app that enables hospitals to request medical care.
Medical care is a major problem in many areas of Africa. Every year about 1.6 million people die of treatable diseases such as malaria or tuberculosis. Many rural communities suffer from poor road network, logistics and infrastructure. Ezenwere says there are around 30000 health facilities in Nigeria and just 6000 of them would work.