Healthcare delivery services in the five Northern regions have received a huge boost by the inauguration of Zipline’s medical drone distribution centre at Vobsi in the West Mamprusi Municipality of the North East Region.
The facility which was officially inaugurated on Saturday by the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia will use drones to make on-demand emergency deliveries of vaccines, blood products and life-saving medications to health facilities in the five Northern regions of the country.
The Vice President said the decision of the government to adopt the revolutionary service of using drones to deliver on-demand, emergency medical commodities are significantly improving access to basic emergency medical commodities by health facilities across the country.
He expressed his excitement about how the drone delivery service is saving lots of lives, especially, in the hard-to-reach communities in Ghana.
Dr. Bawumia recounted a story of how a Medical Superintendent at the Baptist Medical Center in Nalerigu, relied on Zipline’s drone service at Vobsi to save the life of a woman who was in critical need of blood.
The Vice President indicated that besides saving the lives of patients in critical conditions, the drone delivery service is also boosting the morale of health workers across the country.
“There are lots of stories where our health professionals have openly testified how this single technology has boosted their morale, knowing very well that even in very difficult moments, like shortage of blood products during emergencies, Zipline will be available to deliver just in time.”
He reiterated government’s commitment to invest in the healthcare delivery system and called on the Minister of Health and the Director-General of Ghana Health Service to expedite actions on the on-going discussion to expand the network of the drone delivery service across the entire country.
He said, “… it’s important that we speed up this discussion so that we can cover the entire country by the addition of four more distribution sites we do not leave any community behind in access to critical health service such as this.”
The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Benard Oko-Boye, is of the firm belief that the medical drone delivery service is helping in the reduction of the “no-bed syndrome” as referral to other hospitals as a result of the non-availability of essential medical products within the operational areas of Zipline is reducing.
The Deputy Minister commended Zipline for its partnership with Government in the fight against COVID-19 which has placed Ghana as the very first country in the world to use medical drone technology to deliver COVID-19 samples to testing centers. According to him, the partnership was also very instrumental in speeding up the testing regime and saved lots of money for districts that were very far from the COVID 19 testing centers.
Speaking on behalf of Zipline, the Managing Director of Zipline Ghana, Daniel Marfo, expressed his appreciation to all partners and donors to the project. He believes the effort of Zipline is yielding very significant results as the number of requests for deliveries keep rising by the day.
“This technology, no doubt, is saving lots of lives; demand for our services is rising by the day. On our end, we remain committed to our side of the contract by continuing to save lives when it matters the most”