By Papisdaff Abdullah
The Government of Ghana has added two additional drone distribution centers, making six so far to augment medical supplies delivery in the health sector.
The 5th and 6th Distribution Centres for Zipline Ghana was commissioned by Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, at Anum and Kete Krachi.
“When the government, led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo satisfied itself with the knowledge behind Zipline’s innovation and how it will improve access to vital medical supplies, we became interested and more eager to ensure that the good people of Ghana benefit from this innovation” Dr Bawumia said.
The Vice President, who was speaking at Nyagbo Sroe in the Afadjato South District of the Volta Region, said the unhealthy criticism that accompanied Government’s decision to implement the drone medical delivery service to address emergencies and hard-to-reach communities, including claims that the drones would take pictures of people in their bathrooms, could have led to deaths of thousands of Ghanaians including expectant mothers, victims of snake bite and from Covid 19.
“When I look at the tremendous success since 2019, I can only thank God for the foresight and the bold decision to move forward with this (Zipline) project. I am sure by now even the ardent critics of the innovation have come to terms with the benefits of this project.
Never again should we allow ourselves to be divided by politics when discussing the health of our people. When a snake is about to bite you, it does not ask whether you are NPP or NDC or CPP” the Vice President indicated.
“From Omenako to Mpanya, Vobsi to Sefwi Wiawso, and now Anum to Kete Krachi; Zipline drones have been almost everywhere, flying over hills and valleys to bring healthcare closer to the people. Since Zipline started the drone deliveries, the challenges of travelling for vaccine inoculation and the delay in vaccine delivery have been resolved.
“I have been informed that as at the end of February 2022, Zipline has made more than two million deliveries of life-saving medical products, saving hundreds of thousands of lives and limbs. Aside these, other medical supplies like blood, anti-snake venom and PPEs have been transported with ease to government health facilities within the period.
“Also importantly, over 300 high quality jobs have been created, and I am happy to say that all the distribution centres are manned 100% by Ghanaians. “I am also
Informed that Ghanaian staff are at the forefront of Zipline expansion to Nigeria, Kenya, and Côte d’Ivoire”, Dr Bawumia added.
The two new Centres, at Anum and Kete Krachi, will serve all health facilities within the Afram Plains areas and many other hard-to-reach communities in almost all parts of Volta Region, most parts of the Eastern Region, and parts of the Oti and Savannah regions, ensuring almost total national coverage.
The Country Manager of Zipline Ghana, Naa Adorkor Yawson, disclosed that after three years of service to over 2,300 health facilities in 147 districts in 13 regions, the company would, later this year, begin home delivery services, to make speedy access to essential medications even easier.