UNICEF has introduced the use of drones to transport blood samples for HIV tests in hard-to-reach areas of Malawi.
As poor roads in rural parts of the south-eastern African country cause long delays in giving anxious families a positive or negative diagnosis, drones are seen as a cost-effective measure to reduce the waiting time for results of HIV tests.
"We wanted to test the feasibility complementing the existing transportation system to reduce the turnaround time between when a sample is taken from an infant and to a laboratory to be tested for HIV," UNICEF HIV and AIDS chief Judith Sherman said.
"I don't know whether my child got the disease from me or if he's okay; so the waiting is painful," one HIV-positive mother shared.
Mother-to-child transmission accounted for 17,000 new HIV infections among newborns in 2008, according to UNICEF.
TRT World’s Fidelis Mbah reports.