Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, has praised the life-saving impact of logistic delivery company Zipline, in enhancing healthcare accessibility across Ghana.
In a stirring speech delivered at the launch of his visionary plans for Ghana, Dr. Bawumia recounted a personal tragedy that inspired his relentless pursuit of innovative solutions to save lives.
Reflecting on the loss of his father due to a lack of timely medical supplies, Bawumia highlighted the urgent need for accessible and efficient healthcare services, particularly in remote and underserved communities. This distressing experience drove him to explore cutting-edge technologies, leading him to the doorstep of Zipline, a pioneering drone delivery service based in Silicon Valley.
“I remember with so much pain when my father underwent an operation in Tamale Teaching hospital. He was losing blood that night and the doctors were trying to get blood for him. We rushed to the blood bank but it was closed. I tried to get the phone number of the one in charge and made several calls to no avail. We were running against time and by the morning my dad had died. That painful experience is forever with me. So when I heard about the Zipline drone technology that could deliver blood and other medicines in an emergency, I was determined to get it for Ghana to save many lives that are needlessly lost”, Bawumia said in excerpts of his speech.
He added, “I went to Silicon Valley in the USA and had a meeting with the co-founder of Zipline – Robert Keller, and convinced him to set up Zipline in Ghana”
Previously, hospitals and clinics in remote and largely rural communities like Nyangbo Sroe in Afadjato South, Afram Plains , Yagaba or Yunyoo had difficulty getting medical supplies especially in times of emergencies involving, for example snake bites, child-birth, blood loss, floods, etc. Many lives are needlessly lost because the hospitals are unable to access critically needed supplies on time. To address this problem, Ghana opted to partner Zipline, the world’s largest automated on-demand delivery service for medical supplies.
The deployment of Zipline’s drone technology has been transformative, particularly in rural areas like Nyangbo Sroe in Afadjato South, Afram Plains , Yagaba or Yunyoo where access to medical supplies has been historically challenging.
With six distribution centers in Omenako (Eastern Region), Mpanya (Ashanti Region), Vobsi (North East Region), Sefwi Wiawso (Western North Region), Kete Krachi (Oti Region) and Anum (Eastern Region), strategically located across the country, Zipline has facilitated millions of deliveries, including vital supplies such as blood, medicines, and vaccines, to communities in need.
Ghana now boasts of the largest medical drone delivery service globally, with these drone centers staffed entirely by talented young Ghanaians, demonstrating our country’s capacity for innovation and excellence.