Drones Course Sparks Opportunity for Participant in South Africa

Participant in drones course will be presenting at the Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa conference in November.

Dr. Andrea Weitz, a general surgery resident in Utah and currently pursuing her MPH online at USC, participated in the “Drones in Global Public Health Certificate Course” offered through the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health this past summer.

“I was working in Masaka, Uganda this past March at a small hospital. While there, one of the lab technicians started telling me about a new program in Rwanda where they are using drones to deliver blood products to remote areas. I found this fascinating and became interested in what other way drones could contribute to medical care, particularly, emergency medical care in developing countries. When I heard about the drone course, I thought that it was a perfect opportunity to learn more,” Weitz explained.

Drones are an emerging technology in global health and have been used in many parts of the world including Papa New Guinea, Malawi, Sweden and Rwanda to deliver lifesaving services, for disaster mapping and for product delivery to remote areas.

“Drones are really transforming medical care in remote areas and I believe that we are just at the beginning of this new frontier of medicine,” Weitz stated on the emerging use of drones.

Weitz took the knowledge she gained from the course, and with guidance from course instructors Dr. Shubha Kumar and Helena Samsoie, she submitted an abstract to the Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa (EMMSA) Conference where it was accepted. She will be giving an oral presentation during the November 5-7 conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

“I really enjoyed [the course] and found it extremely informative. Not only did we learn the basics of how drones work and the multiple medical uses for them, we were able to meet and interact with people in the field who currently are using drones for their work and research” Weitz said. 

Learn more about the drones course >>