Welcome to Episode 65 of Good Will Hunters. In this episode, I’m chatting to Eric Peck, the Co-Founder and CEO of Swoop Aero, a company revolutionising access to healthcare, by providing on-demand aircraft, or drones, to deliver urgent medical supplies to rural and regional areas.
They’re currently deployed in Vanuatu, as well as a couple of other countries which you’ll hear about in this episode. I’m not going to tell you too much about their story - I want to let Eric tell you for himself.
What I will say, is that this episode is really important. I have worked in the Pacific over the last 6 or so years, and I’ve visited some really remote and rural places, particularly in Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. Some villages that I’ve visited are only accessible on foot - they might be a 3-day walk from the nearest town, or in the case of some of the Pacific Island Countries, they may be a three-day boat trip from the nearest medical facility.
And yet many of these countries have some of the highest rates of infectious diseases int he world. It’s scary. It’s frightening as a visitor, and it must be even more terrifying as a local, knowing how hard it is to access even the most basic of medicine. Which is exactly why what Swoop Aero does is so important.
Eric tells some heartbreaking stories in this episode, one in particular about Mungau Dain, the lead male actor in the hit-film Tanna, who shortly after travelling the world promoting his film, died because he couldn’t access antibiotics in his village in Vanuatu.
But, Eric also tells amazing, inspiring stories that make me optimistic about the future of rural healthcare.
After you listen to this episode, check out the Swoop Aero website - you’ll see a lot of media online about what they do and also about how they’re proudly backed by venture capital.
I’d also love to hear from you about your thoughts on the episode, and your experience accessing basic goods and services in remote and rural areas. Remember, Good Will Hunters is a community and I love seeing our community come together and advance these important conversations.
Before you go, make sure you’ve subscribed to Good Will Hunters on iTunes or Spotify to stay up to date with the latest news in aid, development and impact.
The other place to stay up to date is the Australasian Aid Conferenced, hosted by the Development Policy Centre at ANU. This year’s conference is on from 17 - 19 February, in Canberra and tickets are on sale now. I’ll be there, I’ll be conducting a whole lot of interviews and I’d love to meet as many of you as possible. Visit the Devpoliy website to secure your ticket today.
This episode is sponsored by Spark Strategy. Learn more at https://sparkstrategy.com.au
Enjoy the episode,
Rachel and the GWH Team